DALE CITY, VIRGINIA – An armed man was fatally shot by a homeowner early Thursday morning. According to police, officers were summoned to the 4100 block of Hoffman Drive at 12:25 a.m. by a woman who reported being approached by an unknown masked man as she was leaving her home, approaching her from the side of the home.
The 44-year-old female was also armed at the time and shot the masked individual as he approached the front door of her home, according to Prince William County Police 1st Sgt. Jonathan Perok. Upon arrival, officers located a man near the front door suffering from gunshot wounds. They also recovered a loaded handgun that the man had in his possession.
Police officers initiated CPR and were relieved by EMS personnel upon their arrival. The man was transported to a local hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. He has been identified as 20-year-old Azhar Laurent Smart of Triangle. The victim was not injured.
Investigators consulted with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, and the shooting was ruled to be justified based on self-defense. As a result, no charges will be lodged against the victim.
Some may find this a bit surprising from a legal standpoint, as Virginia does not have a “Stand Your Ground” law, but does still have a “Duty to Retreat”. This requires persons outside their home to retreat from the perceived threat if possible, to avoid the use of force-on-force. Apparently in this case, the powers-that-be concluded that the intended female victim was unable to do so.
This is the second self-defense shooting in Dale City this month. On July 6, a homeowner on Glendale Road shot and wounded a man attempting to enter his home through a window. The suspect in that case is expected to survive, and no charges were filed against the homeowner