Friend remembers man shot by Huntsville Police

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – It’s been a week since Alberto Rivas was shot and killed by a Huntsville Police officer after the department says Rivas pointed a handgun at officers. We’ve learned that officers were responding to a 911 call but other details are still unclear.

The shooting happened on late in the evening on Friday October 16. Now, a friend of Alberto Rivas says while he waits for clarity surrounding the situation that resulted in Rivas’ death, he wants the community to know more about the man whose name was thrust into the spotlight.

57 year old Alberto Rivas was known by his friends and family as “Albert” or “Al.”

“Al was very outgoing, he was a great guy. You know, a mans man you would say,” says George Stiles.

George Stiles was Rivas’ barber. Stiles says he and Rivas had a mutual bond, both being from New York.

“Most of our conversation was about back home, you know. Reminiscing, pizza, the good ole days,” says Stiles.

He says Rivas paid for haircuts in advance, to help him through financially hard times during the pandemic.

“To make sure my family and myself had throughout the whole COVID thing and he didn’t have to do that,” says Stiles.

Rivas was a veteran and served in the U.S. Airforce. He worked at Redstone Arsenal for North Wind Construction Company. Stiles describes “Al” as a loving father and husband.

“If he wasn’t working he was tending to his family his wife and his daughter. He loved his daughter very much and also his wife,” says Stiles.

Friday night, members of the community marched through downtown Huntsville calling for police reform and the release of body camera footage in officer involved shootings.

Stiles says it’s sad having his friend’s name added to that list.

“I mean Al’s family loved the police. They had no gripe or anything like that. Al was a standup citizen,” says Stiles.

Huntsville police say the officer who shot Rivas is on administrative duty while the department conducts an investigation. The investigation is ongoing.

News 19 has asked the Huntsville Police department for the body camera video from that night. The department says during an investigation, body camera video will not be released.

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