Reported by NEWSSARAH TAYLOR | May 18, 2021
An unnamed “good guy with a gun” put a stop to what could have been a horrific mass killing over the weekend by using his own weapon to gun down a massacre suspect, KFSM-TV reported. Authorities said an armed 26-year-old Zachary Arnold, a resident at the Fort Smith, Arkansas, apartment complex where the event occurred, was outside his building Saturday morning when he began screaming for residents to come outside.
Arnold, who was armed with a rifle, was first met by an elderly neighbor, 87-year-old Lois Hicks. One neighbor told the station that Hicks and another elderly woman came out to “console” Arnold when he opened fire.
“There were two older women, both had come out,” the neighbor explained. “One of them had ran back in, and the other one ran back in, but she didn’t close her door, then he walked in and did what he did.”
After fatally shooting Hicks, authorities said, Arnold continued to fire rounds from his rifle and tried to persuade other residents to come out of their homes. Another neighbor told the station, “He was yelling and screaming, ‘You guys get out here, come out here, everyone get out of this building right now!'”
One neighbor, who remains unnamed at the time of this reporting, grabbed his own rifle and bravely exited his apartment to put a stop to the mayhem. The male neighbor fatally shot Arnold, immediately ending the would-be mass killing.
A resident told the station, “If he didn’t do that, who knows how much worse it could have gotten.”
It currently remains unknown what prompted Arnold to storm his own apartment complex, and the incident remains under investigation. It is unclear whether the unnamed good Samaritan will face charges in connection with the shooting. No other residents were injured, and KARK-TV reported that the Fort Smith Police Department said they will submit a completed case file to the Sebastian County prosecuting attorney’s office for review.
Dixie Property Management issued a statement on the killing and said, “We are terribly saddened by the incident which happened this morning. We are working diligently with the police in any way we can. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families today.”
FSPD public information officer Aric Mitchell told KNWA-TV that the department is grieving with the rest of the community.
“Our hearts and prayers are with everyone affected by today’s events,” Mitchell told the station. “We will release additional information when appropriate and at the conclusion of our investigation.”