Daytona Beach officer saved by bulletproof vest cleared in fatal shooting

Holly Hill, Daytona Beach police officers cleared after FDLE ‘use of force’ investigation

1 person killed, Daytona Beach officer injured in shooting, police say

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Two police officers in Volusia County have been cleared by the state attorney for their roles in a fatal shooting at a Daytona Beach apartment that left one suspect dead and an officer injured.

Holly Hill and Daytona Beach police officers responded to the apartment complex at 1629 Espanola Ave. on Aug. 29 for an anonymous tip about a person wanted for attempted murder.

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When officers arrived, they attempted to make contact with the suspect, Michael Harris, who was accused of shooting a woman in the back that same month. A witness told officers Harris was inside an apartment with a gun or he had jumped out a window, body camera video showed.

Daytona Beach police Officer Dominic Besse entered the apartment and when he pushed open a door he was met by gunfire. Besse was hit by gunfire but saved by his bulletproof vest, according to officials.

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Officers returned fire and Harris was found in the bedroom. He died at the scene.

Holly Hill police Officer Luis Lugo, who also fired his weapon, and Besse were both placed on paid administrative leave following the shooting.

The shooting was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which is standard procedure for officer-involved shootings. Based on the FDLE findings, the state attorney’s office has cleared both officers.

State Attorney R.J. Larizza notified FDLE Special Agent Chris Shepard on Dec. 15 that his office would not be taking any action against either officer.