A resident of an apartment complex in Fort Smith, Arkansas, used a hunting rifle earlier this week to take down another man who was wielding a semi-automatic rifle and had already killed one apartment resident.
On Monday morning, Zachary Arnold, 26, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, took a rifle and began yelling for the other people in the apartment complex to come outside.
“He was yelling and screaming, ‘You guys get out here, come out here, everyone get out of this building right now,’” Janey Peugh, a resident of the apartment complex, told KFSM.
Another resident, Amber Lane, told KFSM that two women came out to try to console Arnold. They quickly ran back inside, but Arnold followed them and shot and killed one of them, 87-year-old Lois Hicks.
“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,” Lane said.
Arnold then began firing randomly into the apartment buildings while the residents took cover.
That’s when another man, who police have not identified, took what the media have been describing as a “hunting rifle” and shot and killed Arnold. When police arrived, they found Arnold’s body outside the apartment and Hicks’ body inside.
Police have not released any additional details about the incident, including the identity of the Good Samaritan.
Other apartment residents expressed their gratitude on Facebook for the Good Samaritan. Bridgett Smithson, who claims to have been the other woman who went outside with Hicks, called the man “Our Hero Neighbor” in a comment under the KFSM story.
“Wonderful, wonderful person!” she said.
“We are safe! Woke up to a gun being fired over and over outside our apartment. Active shooter outside our apartment. The absolutely scariest moment of my life! Our neighbor laid this man down! Thank Goodness!” Smithson posted on Facebook.
When reached by GunsAmerica for comment, Smithson said, “I think this is exactly the reason semi assault weapons should be banned. And especially not in the hands of United States professionally trained veterans.”
Another resident, Brandon Coplen, said the Good Samaritan lives next door to him, and he thanked him for his quick action.
Coplen provided his recollection of events in post on his profile.
“I talked to my neighbor today and he told me the guy had an ar15 with armor piercing rounds… I’m so lucky that’s all I’m saying! And I got a chance to thank my neighbor today and let him know he did the right thing. My heart goes out to the families involved really sad,” he wrote.
He says he walked outside at 7:30 am the morning on the incident, and Arnold shouted, “Hey you!” and began shooting at him. Coplen was able to find cover, but he posted photos showing the bullet holes in his apartment and on the outside of his building.
In an interview with GunsAmerican, he said he’s “definitely” planning to get a firearm after this experience.
In Arnold’s obituary, his family requests donations to Wounded Warrior or another veteran’s organization in lieu of flowers.
Police say they will release more details when appropriate and at the end of the investigation.