A West Palm Beach man is facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of another man during an argument at a shopping plaza in Lake Park, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. The incident took place Wednesday night in the 1200 block of Northlake Boulevard. The shooting occurred in a parking lot which hosts popular outlets like Burlington, Hobby Lobby, Staples, and Chick-fil-A.
Michael Laurice Harris, the accused, was captured on Friday evening at the Palm Beach County Jail. He appeared for his first court hearing on June 20 at 10:30 AM, where he was denied bond. The victim died on the same night of the incident after arriving at an area trauma center.
Two eyewitnesses reported that they saw a purple Dodge Challenger stop at the parking lot. The victim allegedly approached a man and woman who were in a gray car identified as a Toyota Corolla. The trio began arguing, and the victim reportedly punched the woman, before Harris fired a semi-automatic Glock 9mm handgun at him. The woman then entered the victim’s car and moved it ten to fifteen feet before exiting and entering the Toyota.
The investigators found that the victim had suffered gunshot wounds in the torso. Further investigation revealed the woman to be an associate of the accused who was present there during the incident. During an interview with the woman, she stated that the victim had argued with her and Harris regarding the availability of a spare key to his car with other belongings from the residence. The female associate confirmed that the victim had punched her in the face before admitting to hearing gunshots.
The sheriff’s department is still investigating the matter, and further details regarding the events leading up to the murder have not yet been released to the public. Detectives were notified after the suspect was identified, and they arrived promptly at the PBSO Mangonia Park substation. The incident has caught the attention of local residents, and they have expressed their concern over such unnecessary acts of violence. The victim’s family has requested privacy and has said that they would like to mourn in peace. There is a growing need to address such violent crimes and for the local law enforcement agencies to take tangible steps to prevent such incidents in the future.