Mother killed by husband while at a Miami-Dade JCC for her daughter’s swim lesson, cops say

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MONDAY UPDATE: Miami-Dade police officially identified the woman as Shandell Harris, 30, and the gunman as Carl Watts, Jr., 45.

A tragic shooting that unfolded Sunday afternoon at a North Miami-Dade Jewish Community Center was the result of domestic violence — not domestic terrorism, according to Miami-Dade police and the JCC.

Monday, Miami-Dade police confirmed what social media mourners said Sunday, that the woman was Shandell Harris. The 30-year-old Miami woman was on the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center pool deck for her daughter’s swimming lesson when her husband, Carl Watts, Jr., 45, shot Harris dead around 2:12 p.m., Miami-Dade Det. Alvaro Zabaleta said.

Zabaleta said police arrested Watts and found a gun in an open field adjacent to this JCC, 18900 NE 25th Ave. Investigators learned Sunday’s piece of domestic violence had been preceded by another in a different jurisdiction.

READ MORE: Day before murdering his wife wife at Miami Jewish center, man stabbed her. He was not arrested.

Shandell Harris in a Jan. 27 post on her Facebook page.
Shandell Harris in a Jan. 27 post on her Facebook page.

“Earlier (Sunday), there was a shooting at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center with one fatality,” said a popup on the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center website. “Miami-Dade Police have confirmed it is being investigated as a domestic issue. The suspected gunman has been arrested, and police have indicated there is no known threat to the Jewish community.”

JCC officials added: “Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the victim’s family. Thankfully, years of drills and numerous safety protocols ensured the safety of our members, staff, and community.”

A Miami-Dade police car outside the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center
A Miami-Dade police car outside the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center

If you or anyone you know is suffering from domestic violence and/or abuse, tell someone: friends, family, police or call at this hotline for help, 800-962-2873 or 800-500-1119.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more is learned.

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