Fort Smith, Arkansas – On Saturday morning, an armed Fort Smith citizen stopped what could have become a mass shooting incident. Lois Hicks was 87 years old, and was killed inside her apartment. But the suspect, Zachary Arnold, 26, continued to fire his gun at other residents. A neighbor in the complex came out of his apartment with his hunting rifle and put him down.
Lois Hicks lived in the same building as Zachary Arnold. At around 7:23 a.m., Arnold began screaming and demanding that everyone in the building “get out here.” Two elderly ladies went out to calm him, but went back inside when they saw the gun. Lois failed to shut her door, and Arnold went into her apartment and shot her multiple times.
Neighbors who witnessed the shooting say Arnold was trying to persuade people to come outside of their apartment buildings.
“He was yelling and screaming, “You guys get out here, come out here, everyone get out of this building right now,” says Janey Peugh, a resident of the apartment complex.
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.
Neighbors say Arnold could open fire on anyone in the apartment building, so they took cover while he continued to shoot into the residences. Some say they are grateful for the one neighbor who stepped in and put an end to the shooting.
“If he didn’t do that, who knows how much worse it could have gotten,” says Lane.
The armed Fort Smith citizen who stepped in to save lives is a hero to the residents of the apartment complex. The investigation is ongoing.
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