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article imageMiami father gunned down in own home while protecting daughter

By Greta McClain     Feb 14, 2013 in Crime
Miami - A Miami, Florida father is dead after being shot in his own home while trying to protect his daughter from armed intruders.

Early Wednesday morning, thirty-six-year-old Maurice Harris was in his north Miami home with his wife, Shakila Stewart, and their 11-year-old daughter when two "heavily armed" men burst into the home and demanded money. When Harris told the men he did not have any money, they held his wife on the floor, pointing a gun at her. The suspects then started to walk towards the bedroom of the daughter. At that point, Harris began to struggle with the suspects, attempting to keep them from getting into the daughter's room. Harris managed to knock one of the gunmen to the floor and while continuing to struggle with the suspect, Harris was shot several times. The second gunman fled the scene after the shooting.
Harris was transported to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital were he was pronounced dead.
Paramedics perform CPR on Maurice Harris after he was shot by armed intruders.
Paramedics perform CPR on Maurice Harris after he was shot by armed intruders.
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Stewart told WSVN:
"The only thing they were saying was, 'Money, we want money,' and we kept on telling them we don't have any money."
Sgt. Confesor Gonzalez, the lead detective in the case said the men took something of value from the home, but declined to say exactly what the item was. He called the incident a "senseless death" and stated investigators believe the family was targeted, telling CBS Miami:
"[The robbers] will stop at nothing to get what they want. The motive is clearly a robbery, it is a home invasion robbery. The sanity of their home was violated and it can't get much worse than this. They were specifically looking for cash. They knew there was cash in the house. And they were willing to kill for cash."
Kenia Reyes, spokeswoman for the Miami Police Department, called the suspects "beasts", saying:
"They storm inside the house. A little girl was asleep when she was surprised by the gunfire. The father was just trying to protect her."
Harris has been arrested in the past on various charges, but investigators do not believe those arrests are connected to the home invasion.
Neighbors of Harris are calling him a hero, with Terry Jones saying:
"Unfortunately, he died, but he's super dad. I hope I have that much courage if something like that would've happened to me."
The suspects are identified as two black males in their early 20s. One of the suspects is described as being 6 foot 3 inches tall. Both suspects had bandannas over their face. Police urge anyone who may have knowledge of the crime to contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.
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