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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

July 16, 2013

FY 13-12

Contact: Public Affairs Division

(202) 648-8500

ATF to Name Reflecting Pool in Honor of Special Agent Ariel Rios


WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced today the reflecting pool at ATF Headquarters will be named the "Ariel Rios Reflecting Pool," in honor of the agent who made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting the public from violent criminals. The official dedication will occur in early September.

Dec. 2, 2012, marked the 30th anniversary of the tragic, untimely, and violent death of special agent Ariel Rios. On this date in 1982, Rios and his supervisor and friend, special agent Alex D’Atri, assigned to the Vice Presidential Task Force on South Florida Crime, were conducting an undercover operation. They met with the suspects in the front office of the Hurricane Motel in the Little Havana neighborhood in Miami, Fla. During the operation, one of the suspects pulled a gun and Rios took action, trying to disarm the suspect. Rios was shot and killed.

At the time of his death Rios was 28 years old, and had been with ATF for only four years. He left behind a wife and small children. Prior to joining ATF, Rios was a correctional officer in Washington, D.C. and for the New York City Department of Corrections. Rios started his ATF career in New Haven, Conn., the town where he was born.

On Feb. 5, 1985, the ATF building at 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C., was renamed the Ariel Rios Federal Building. ATF relocated its headquarters in September 2007 to New York Avenue. The Rios Building currently houses the Environmental Protection Agency.

It is the wish of the Rios family that the Ariel Rios name come home to ATF headquarters.