MIAMI – A man trying to protect his family was shot and killed during a home invasion just before midnight on Tuesday.
Maurice Renard Harris, his wife and their 11-year-old daughter were inside the home at 4315 NW 16th Avenue when two men broke into the home and pulled a gun on Harris and his wife, police say.
"A family was about to go to sleep. The little girl is asleep when two men walk in and just begin ambushing the family," said Miami Police Officer Kenia Reyes.
Police say the intruders shot and killed Harris, 36, while he was trying to protect his daughter, who was asleep.
"He wrestled the guy to the ground, and the gun shot him," said Shakila Stewart, Harris' wife.
"When he seen the guy trying to go in to the little girl's room, he tried to stop him by fighting him and he shot him," said Arnica Perez, a relative. "She (the daughter) said that they are demons, the people who did this to her dad, they are demons."
"She (the daughter) only seen her father after what happened. She didn't see the event," said Annie Streeter, Harris' mother-in-law. "We are still in a state of shock."
"What is sad to us is that these two beasts started shooting inside that home and the man protecting his family loses his life," said Reyes.
"It's crazy. It's real crazy," said neighbor Terry Jones, "He's new to the neighborhood. He seemed friendly."
Harris' wife and daughter were not injured.
"He was a devoted father," said Stewart. "He didn't deserve this."
"If anyone knows anything, I would hope that they would come forward. Any little small thing, if they seen anything, heard anything, because we really need to bring these people to justice," said Streeter.
Police records show Harris has several convictions dating back to 2003, including for cocaine possession, intent to distribute cocaine, marijuana possession, and occupied burglary. Police believe he was targeted.
"This man was a legitimate victim of a crime, in his home, with his family, protecting the life of his family, particularly that of his 11-year-old daughter," said Miami Police Sgt. Confesor Gonzalez.
Anyone with information on the home invasion is asked to call the Miami Police Department at 305-579-6111.