Police identified 20-year-old Azhar Laurent Smart as the suspect tied to a string of armed robberies at gas station areas after he was shot and killed by a Dale City homeowner.
Smart of the Triangle area had approached the homeowner before midnight while she was walking her dog. Police said the suspect was masked and investigations found he was armed with a handgun before being shot by the woman.
Authorities later connected his weapon to his past armed robberies due to footage of its discharge as well as casings found at the scene(s). His clothing was also similar in those crimes.
“Following the investigations into this robbery series, all known evidence indicates the deceased was responsible for all five incidents,” 1st Sgt. Jonathan Perok, Prince William County police spokesman said.
Situational awareness is a significant factor in this incident, to say the least. Everyone has their own way to determine their blocks of free time or tasks, but walking pets this late at night is arguably not the most ideal thing to do. Still, she was armed and ready to defend, but at a cost likely more avoidable.
The main thing to know is that doing tasks or actions like these at similar times requires a heightened amount of awareness. As firearm carriers, we have to make sure we adapt our setups to the right situations. Otherwise, it also is beneficial to stay updated on crime in our own areas.
The investigation into why Smart was at the Dale City home is still ongoing.