A Florida mother and father received a call no parent ever wants to get from their child. Their young son was home alone and a man was allegedly trying to break in. The boy’s dad, an off-duty cop, received the call for help — and the next sound that rang out was “boom, boom, boom, boom.”
Anthony Arias, a 29-year-old Florida man and a previously convicted burglar who had served time in prison, picked the wrong house when he attempted to break into a Miami-Dade residence on a Monday afternoon. Arias likely thought he had found an easy target since the only person home was a 13-year-old boy, but he was about to learn just how wrong he was.
According to The Blaze, the young teen, who was home alone at the time, heard a man — later identified as Anthony Arias — trying to break in. The boy called his parents for help, telling them that someone was attempting to break into the home from the rear. Even though the child’s parents were no longer together and the break-in was taking place at the boy’s mother’s house, his dad flew into action.
“I hear ‘Boom, boom, boom, boom,’” neighbor Raul Artiles recalled, according to WSVN. “Somebody shooting with a pistol, like 10 or 13 times,” the 35-year resident of the neighborhood added, explaining that this was not typical of their quiet community. “This neighborhood is very, very peaceful, very nice,” he said. “I never hear a shooting or anything like that.”
Thankfully, it wasn’t the burglary suspect who fired a gun. Instead, it was the boy’s father — an off-duty, veteran officer with the City of Miami police — who had fired the shots after responding to his son’s call for help. The dad had rushed to his ex-wife’s home in the 700 block of Southwest 98th Court and confronted the suspect in the driveway, where Anthony Arias allegedly threatened him.
“The 13-year-old child located within the residence contacted his parents and stated that someone was trying to break in from the rear,” Miami-Dade Police detective Kristopher Welch said. “His father, a City of Miami Police officer, responded on [the] scene, confronted the subject, [and] shots were fired.”
The off-duty officer fired his weapon, striking Anthony Arias after being threatened with a weapon. “The subject turned on him, and with a very large screwdriver, and he made a threat to the officer’s life,” Sergeant Tommy Reyes of the Fraternal Order of Police said, adding that the suspect possibly made a move towards the officer, who then shot him, NBC Miami reported.
A nearby resident called the dad’s response “natural,” and neighbor Orencio Castillo echoed those sentiments. “That’s a natural response I would say,” Castillo said, presumably referencing the officer’s actions. “He probably thought the house was empty,” Castillo added, referring to the burglary suspect. “This is the first time I hear about one in almost 20 years,” he furthered, speaking of the alleged attempted robbery and shooting.
Following the shooting, Miami-Dade Police and Fire Rescue units responded to the scene and a helicopter hovered over the home where the incident took place. Paramedics took Anthony Arias to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, having succumbed to his injuries. Aerial footage captured blood on what appears to be a family’s driveway. The off-duty officer was reportedly the only one to fire a weapon.
Christina Carmenate, the cousin of the boy’s mother, rushed to the scene to provide support after hearing what happened. “Somebody was trying to break into her house,” Carmenate explained. “She called her ex-husband that is a police officer, and there was some type of altercation, and there was a shooting. It was a robbery. It was an attempted robbery, and the bad person was the one hit.”
Indeed, a bad guy who was allegedly intending harm was stopped by a good guy with a gun. Thankfully, this determined dad was able to reach the scene in time. We shudder to think how differently this may have ended if that hadn’t been the case. Luckily, we get to report a happy ending instead, thanks to another example of how the Second Amendment affords us the opportunity to protect our loved ones, ourselves, and our property. Job well done, officer dad!