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Man sentenced to 5 years in prison in Lake Park shopping plaza shooting

Michael Laurice Harris convicted of reduced charge of manslaughter
Michael Laurice Harris..jpg
Posted at 8:24 PM, Apr 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-03 20:24:31-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A 24-year-old West Palm Beach man was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison in the shooting death of a man during an argument at a shopping plaza parking lot.

Michael Laurice Harris was found guilty on Oct. 18 of the lesser charge of manslaughter instead of second-degree murder. Circuit Court Judge Cymonie Rowe also sentenced him to two years probation after his prison sentence.

Michael Laurice Harris at first appearance on May 20, 2023
Michael Laurice Harris at first appearance.

The shooting place about 7:15 p.m. May 17, 2023, in the 1200 block of Northlake Boulevard, west of Old Dixie Highway. The shopping plaza includes a Burlington, Hobby Lobby, Staples and Chick-fil-A restaurant.

When deputies arrived, they found a man with a gunshot wound to the right side of his torso. The unidentified victim was taken to an area trauma center and died that night.

Two witnesses told investigators they observed a purple Dodge Challenger stop in the parking lot. The victim approached a woman and man in a gray car, later identified as a Toyota Corolla.

They said they saw the three arguing, with the victim punching the woman and then the suspect firing a semi-automatic weapon, later identified as a Glock 9mm handgun.

The woman then entered the victim's Dodge, moved it 10 to 15 feet, exited the vehicle and entered the Toyota, according to the arrest report.

The car was driven eastbound through the parking lot.

Detectives were notified the suspect had been identified and arrived at the PBSO Mangonia Park substation.

Surveillance video was obtained from Burlington.

During an interview, the woman said she had arrived at the retailer with the suspect

She said the victim argued with her about getting a spare key to his car with other belongings from the residence.

The woman said the victim punched her one time on the right side of the face with a closed fist. The woman said she heard a gunshot and the suspect ran.

Investigators determined the victim didn't have a weapon.