Henry Harris sat on his front porch in Lutz on Sunday morning, holding back tears and trying to make sense of what happened the night before.
Water was still running from a hose he used hours earlier to wash his son’s blood from the walkway in front of his home. Harris said he was having trouble swallowing and he had marks on his face and throat from where he told deputies his son chocked him until his arms began to tingle and he feared he would lose consciousness.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies say Harris shot his 26-year-old son Eric Harris in the chest during the violent attack late Saturday night.
Harris didn’t want to talk about the specifics of what happened.
Eric Harris was in stable condition Sunday and deputies told Henry Harris he was expected to live.
Henry Harris had not been charged.
The fight began about 11 p.m. Eric Harris and his girlfriend had attended the University of South Florida football game and they returned to the home he shares with his father at 18627 San Rio Circle, deputies said. Eric Harris was intoxicated and started arguing with his girlfriend, deputies said.
Henry Harris was preparing to take his four pit bulldogs out for a walk. He has a concealed weapons permit and was carrying a 9 mm handgun, which he takes for protection when he walks the dogs, deputies said.
Eric Harris began arguing with his father and attacked him from behind, deputies said.
Eric Harris put his father in a choke hold, and Henry Harris fought to breath, deputies said.
He managed to break away, but his son came at him again and Henry Harris pulled his handgun and shot Eric Harris once in the chest, deputies said.
Henry Harris spent part of the night in a patrol car in front of his home but was not arrested.
Detectives are continuing the investigation, which will be turned over to the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office to determine if criminal charges will be filed.
Henry Harris’ mother — Eric Harris’ grandmother — said there were issues between the father and son.
“My son’s been out of work for some time, and I think my grandson takes too much advantage of his father,” said Hilda Harris, who lives in Tampa. “ It’s just so sad.”