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Police: Man wielded machete-like weapon at officer before he was killed

Police: Man wielded machete-like weapon at officer before he was killed

CREATED Jul 4, 2012

Web Producer: Rikki Mitchell

Reporter: Claire Doan

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Police have identified a Tucson man killed by officers early Wednesday morning as 39-year-old Vincent Alvarez, according to Sgt. Chris Widmer with Tucson Police.

Widmer tells KGUN9 that officers received reports shortly after midnight that a man was assaulting another man with a baseball bat at a mobile home in the 200 block of S. Norris Ave.

When officers arrived, they found two men suffering from serious but injuries that were not life-threatening. The two men gave officers a detailed description of the suspect, and were then transported to a nearby hospital.

Alvarez ran to the backyard of his home near Broadway and Tucson Blvd.

Alvarez then appeared from a garage area armed with a large edged weapon that was 3 inches wide and 18 inches long, Widmer said. 

Widmer says Sgt. Benjamin Frie told the man to drop his weapon several times, but the man refused to do so and got closer to the officer.

Alvarez was within seven feet of Sgt. Frie when he fired and struck Alvarez several times, police said. 

Paramedics arrived and pronounced Alvarez dead.

The homicide unit will continue the criminal investigation, and the Office of Internal Affairs at TPD will conduct a separate investigation to examine the actions of the officers in this incident.

Frie is a 10-year veteran of the Tucson Police Department and has been involved in three officer-involved shootings in the last decade, including one this past April.  

Widmer said police have had 270 contacts with Alvarez.