Man Shot by Police in Arlington Hit Officer With Metal Pole, Police Say

An Arlington County Police officer fatally shot a man late last month – and officials released minute-by-minute details Tuesday on what they say happened.

Before Alfredo Rials-Torres was shot by an officer in the Ballston area of Arlington, he repeatedly swung a metal pole at officers, slashing one officer in the face and refusing to back down, a timeline released by the ACPD said. The full timeline can be viewed here

Late the morning of May 19, police were called to The Gates of Ballston apartment complex on the 4200 block of 2nd Road N. after neighbors heard an elderly woman crying for help.

When two officers arrived at the apartment, they found the door open and could see an elderly woman sitting inside with injuries to her face. The officers tried to enter the apartment, but Rials-Torres, 54, tried to slam it shut, the timeline said. An officer managed to stick his foot into the doorway to prevent the door from closing.

Then, Rials-Torres picked up a metal pole, the timeline said. One officer tried to use his Taser on the man, but the device failed. Rials-Torres then bashed the officer in the face with the pole, slashing his face, according to ACPD. 

"The male party became even more aggressive, swinging the metal pole violently," Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said.

At about the same time, the officer deployed his Taser again and hit his fellow officer, temporarily incapacitating him.

Rials-Torres continued to swing the metal pole, "prompting the officer to discharge his firearm out of fear for his safety and the safety of others," the ACPD timeline said.

"Our officer is bleeding from the face, and at that point the decision to fire his weapon was made," Sternbeck said.

The officer fired three shots, each striking Rials-Torres in the upper body shortly before 11 a.m.

Rials-Torres was pronounced dead at Virginia Hospital Center.

A neighbor, who declined to provide his name, said Rials-Torres was shouting at his mother after she told him he needed to get a job.

The officer, whose name has not been released, is recovering from his injuries and was described as a seasoned veteran of the force.

"This is a long road to recovery for him," Sternbeck said.

Arlington police will finish their investigation and turn a complete report over to the Commonwealth Attorney's office.

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