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Mass Murder Stopped by Man Armed with Rifle in Arkansas

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Article first appeared on Ammoland.com

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- In Fort Smith, Arkansas, a young man, for unknown reasons, killed an elderly neighbor and attempted to kill others.  The murder is reported as occurring at the Three Corners Townhouses on 74th Street, at about 7:19 a.m. on 15 May, 2021.

As the murderer fired into the apartment buildings, a resident retrieved a rifle and fired one shot, killing the murderer and stopping the threat.

From 4029tv.com:

Mitchell said calls about the gunfire began coming in at 7:19 a.m. and when police arrived, two people were dead.

According to police, 87-year-old Lois Hicks was shot multiple times inside of her apartment by an individual with a semi-automatic rifle. The shooter, 26-year-old Zachary Arnold continued to shoot his rifle at neighboring apartments.

Police said the shooter and the victim both lived at the complex. Police added that a resident at the complex heard the gunfire and shot and killed Arnold with a hunting rifle as Arnold continued to shoot at neighboring apartments.

As related by eyewitnesses on video from local television stations, the murderer came outside and started firing shots, while demanding people come out of their apartments. Two elderly women came out. When they saw what was happening, they ran back into their apartments.

From a video of the crime scene by local stations, it appears the murderer was outside and the apartment doors were at ground level. One older woman closed her door; the other did not. The murderer followed the victim back into her apartment, and shot her several times with a semi-auto rifle, killing her. From 5newsonline.com:

Another resident, Amber Lane, says Lois Hicks and Arnold live in the same building. She says Hicks and another neighbor went outside to console Arnold, but when they saw the gun, they ran back inside their apartments. 

“There were two older women, both had come out. 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,” says Lane. 

Then the murderer came back out and demanded more people come out. One eyewitness said the murderer shouted, “You are all going to die.”

A woman came out from an apartment further away, and asked if the murderer was “ok”. She was rewarded by shots fired in her direction. A man came out to see what was happening from across the complex. He also had shots fired at him.

A neighbor then retrieved his own rifle, and, as the murderer was firing more shots, fired one shot, killing Zachary Arnold. The distance and exact timing of the shot is not clear. The incident is still under investigation.

Eyewitnesses believed many more people might have been killed if the armed samaritan with a rifle had not shot and killed Zachary.

Police are investigating the shooting to determine what Zachary Arnold’s motive may have been.

Because the shooting was stopped before four unrelated people were killed, the shooting will not be considered a mass killing by the FBI. It will not be included as a mass shooting in the media.

It may be included in the FBI database of “active shooting incidents” stopped by armed people.

Early reporting is often wrong. Careful crime scene analysis and interviews of all available witnesses is the proper police procedure. When the investigation is done, a better understanding of exactly what happened should emerge.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation

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