A citizen armed with a scoped hunting rifle shot and killed a man who had just murdered an 87-year-old woman in an Fort Smith, Arkansas apartment complex, putting an end to a potential mass casualty event through the use of lethal force.
Zachary Arnold, 26, began screaming at residents on an apartment complex in Fort Smith, demanding “You guys get out here, come out here, everyone get out of this building right now” according to witness. 87-year-old Lois Hicks and another woman exited their apartments, but retreated inside when they noticed Arnold was brandishing a semi-automatic rifle, according to police.
Arnold followed Hicks back inside according to eyewitness, taking advantage of the fact that she had left her door ajar, and shot her to death. The gunman then reportedly went back outside and began to shoot into individual residences, drawing the attention of an armed neighbor.
The unnamed neighbor promptly retrieved a scoped hunting rifle and engaged Arnold, shooting and killing the suspect. A hunting rifle can be seen in footage of the aftermath, laying on a concrete stoop as police swarm the scene.
Resident’s praised their neighbor’s quick thinking. “If he didn’t do that, who knows how much worse it could have gotten,” Amber Lane told local outlet 5News. The building’s property manager, Cherre Miller, reportedly said that tenants formed a committee following the incident and elected to honor the neighbor who used the hunting rifle with a commemorative plaque.
In March, Arkansas passed an update to the state’s Stand Your Ground law that removes the need for a “duty to retreat” when confronting a threat, in a move that drew outrage from local left-wing activists. Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine-style laws have long been in the crosshairs of liberal politicians, who often describe such statutes as “racist” without further explanation.