Man killed by off-duty Miami officer had prior burglary convictions

Anthony Arias, 29, of Doral, had a large screwdriver, says the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, which is standing by the officer's use of force.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The man shot dead by a City of Miami police officer Monday in Southwest Miami-Dade County has been identified by authorities as Anthony Arias, 29, of Doral.

Investigators say that the off-duty cop’s 13-year-old son was home alone in the Westchester area of Miami-Dade when he contacted his parents to tell them somebody was trying to break in.

The officer — whose name has not been confirmed by authorities — went to the home in the 700 block of SW 98th Court and shot Arias, detectives say.

Arias was taken to Kendall Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Arias had a criminal history that includes prior burglary convictions, and he was released from prison this past January.

The shooting did not take place within the officer’s jurisdiction. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate, as is normal protocol with police-involved shootings.

The Miami Fraternal Order of Police stands by the officer’s decision to use deadly force, with their vice president saying Arias had a large screwdriver on him at the time of the incident.

“His 13-year-old child was inside the house,” Miami FOP Vice President Mathew Reyes said of the officer. “So this guy, this gentleman that unfortunately is no longer with us, was a bad person trying to do a bad thing, and unfortunately bad things happen.”

Neighbors say it’s unusual to hear of a break-in in this quiet community, just south of West Flagler Street.

About the Authors:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.