A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy on Wednesday shot and injured a man who confronted, then attacked him outside the deputy’s Royal Palm Beach home, according to a sheriff’s office spokesman.
Aldo Alvarez, 36, who lives in the same Nautica Lakes gated community as the deputy, was shot several times, said sheriff’s Colonel James Stormes. Alvarez was listed in critical condition Tuesday evening at St. Mary’s Medical Center.
Alvarez faces charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and attempted burglary of an occupied dwelling. He has no previous criminal record, according to state documents.
The deputy, whose name has not been released, is on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol in law enforcement-involved shootings.
Around 1:10 p.m., the deputy was getting home from the gym and was exiting his vehicle in the driveway when he was approached by Alvarez.
Alvarez, who appeared “agitated,” “very irate” and “very aggressive,” according to Stormes, attacked the deputy in the driveway and was shaking the deputy’s arm. The deputy pulled away and walked to his garage, but Alvarez followed.
The deputy then told Alvarez to “stay out of his property,” but Alvarez continued to be aggressive, Stormes said.
After Alvarez cornered the deputy in the garage, the officer felt he could not escape, reached into his gym bag, pulled out his gun and fired at Alvarez several times. Stormes did not say how many times the deputy fired.
“He felt he had no other option at that point than to use deadly force,” Stormes said. He added that the door in the garage leading into the home was locked.
Alvarez was larger than the deputy, both in height and weight, officials said: Alvarez was described as about 6-foot-3, weighing over 200 pounds, while the deputy is about 5-10 and 180 pounds.
Alvarez was able to move after the shooting and the officer brought him to the driveway. The deputy then called 911.
The deputy told Storms he did not know Alvarez and had never met him before Tuesday’s encounter.
“I don’t understand why the man did what he did. We can’t explain it,” Stormes said.
The deputy was not injured in the incident, and Storms said there is no evidence that Alvarez was armed.
Investigators are searching the neighborhood for surveillance cameras, as there were no other witnesses.
As police investigated, children walking home from school walked toward the crime scene tape near the officer’s home. One teenage girl said “I don’t like this community anymore.”
A mother driving out of the neighborhood with her infant in the back seat, who did not give her name, said she would activate her alarm every night after Wednesday’s shooting.
This is the seventh officer-involved shooting in Palm Beach County since Jan. 1. Of the seven, four have been fatal, according to police records. In 2012, there were 14 officer-involved shootings, nine resulting in fatalities.