You have permission to edit this article.

Triangle man, 20, shot and killed outside Dale City home in an incident ruled justified based on self-defense

  • Updated
  • 2
new generic police lights 1

A 20-year-old Triangle man who police say was armed was shot and killed outside a Dale City home early Thursday in an incident law-enforcement officials say was justified based on self-defense, according to Prince William County Police.

Officers responded to a home in the 4100 block of Hoffman Drive, a residential area off Prince William Parkway near the Sheetz gas station, at 12:25 a.m. Thursday, July 22, and found a man lying near the doorway, suffering from gunshot wounds, according to 1st Sgt. Jonathan Perok, Prince William County police spokesman.

The resident, a 44-year-old woman, told police she was exiting her home to walk her dog when she observed an unknown, masked individual armed with a handgun approaching her from the side of the home.

“The victim, who was also armed at the time, shot the individual as they approached the front door of her residence,” Perok said in a news release.

Officers located a loaded handgun in the masked man’s possession, the release said.

Officers performed CPR on the man until rescue personnel arrived. The man was transported to an area hospital where he later died as a result of his injuries, the release said.

The deceased was identified as Azhar Laurent Smart, 20, of Triangle, the release said.

The woman was not injured, the release said.

“After consultation with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, the shooting was ruled to be justified based on self-defense and therefore no charges will be placed against the victim,” Perok said in the release. 

At this time, the incident does not appear to be random. Police do not believe the woman knew the man, but they have not yet determined why he was outside the house, Perok said in an email.

At least two other people were at the home when the man was shot, one who lived there and one who did not, Perok said.

Detectives from Prince William County’s homicide unit are investigating the incident to determine why the man was at the residence and are seeking to speak to anyone who may have been present around the time of the incident, the release said.

Anyone with information regarding the investigation is asked to contact the Prince William County Police Department tip line at 703-792-7000 or submit a web tip to:

This is a developing news story. Stay with the Prince William Times for updates.

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

2020 was a year marked by hardships and challenges, but the Prince William community has proven resilient. The Prince William Times is honored to serve as your community companion. To say thank you for your continued support, we’d like to offer all our subscribers -- new or returning --


We understand the importance of working to keep our community strong and connected. As we move forward together into 2021, it will take commitment, communication, creativity, and a strong connection with those who are most affected by the stories we cover.

We are dedicated to providing the reliable, local journalism you have come to expect. We are committed to serving you with renewed energy and growing resources. Let the Prince William Times be your community companion throughout 2021, and for many years to come.


Recommended for you

Recommended for you

(2) comments


If a person must carry a gun to walk their's time to move away.


This is an outrage! I demand that something be done!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Page Title

The future of Prince William Times now depends on community support. Your donation will help us continue to improve our journalism through in-depth local news coverage and expanded reader engagement.

Keeping you connected to the Community. Find or Submit your local event here..

Sign Up For Newsletters