Arkansas Man Uses Hunting Rifle to Put Down Potential Mass Murderer

Zachary Arnold shot and killed one of his neighbors before being killed by a man with a rifle.

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.

SEE ALSO: Armed Alaska Man Foils Suspected Mass Murderer

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.

SEE ALSO: Texas Mom Shoots Carjacker in the Face to Protect Children in Vehicle

Bullet holes dotted the apartment complex, including inside some units. (Photo: Brandan Coplen, Facebook)

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.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 39 comments… add one }
  • Bob May 24, 2021, 8:39 am

    Two issues are common here. First sincere thanks for the everyday heros that step up to protect the innocent. Taking a life is not easy and courage to put one’s self in harms way is Biblical. Thank you Sir! Second is a time proven syndrome that our Vets returning from service are neglected both physically and mentally. Reintegrating them into families and society is all of our obligation. Helping , monitoring and treating is the answer , not ostrasizing or putting more restrictions on them. Maybe when one goes off the tracks its our own failing.

  • Jay May 21, 2021, 11:50 pm

    Blue Dog, hahahahahahaha, you got ur he/him annotated behind ur name. That is fucking funny. Are you sure its not Shim go get ur balls back pussy. I am a 10 year Vet and love my brothers and sisters. I have known many to take their own lives because of ptsd but I think this is the first I’ve heard of shooting civis. Sounds like he wasn’t suffering from ptsd, sounds like FOMO cause he never took a life while in country.

  • CHRIS May 21, 2021, 3:48 pm

    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.”

    I am a Military Police Army Veteran who served in Iraq who was trained and carried an M9 as well as an M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon), an actual assault weapon. By her logic I should not be allowed to own or carry a pistol because I was “professionally trained” to use it. I guarantee if the situation had been reversed and a Veteran used an AR-15 to stop a shooter she would be happy there was a Veteran who was “professionally trained”.

    What should also be mentioned is the fact Miss Smithson placed herself in danger by going out to confront the shooter when she had no training or any way of protecting herself. Civilians with no law enforcement training should not try to calm an individual who is actively shooting and yelling for everyone to come out of their residence. What people need to remember is to not leave the safety of their residence and instead call 911, by doing so in this situation there may not have been a victim with the shooter being the only casualty.

    • Armed and Dangerous May 24, 2021, 10:23 am

      You’re exactly right Chris. Smithson is an irrational non-thinker and probably a liberal democrat. Thank you for your service

    • bill May 24, 2021, 12:05 pm

      Chris the ww2 vets didn’t have near the mental problems vets after that have. I truly believe that the wars after ww2 were fought not to win but to protect ungrateful nations that would or could not do it themselves. People like Bridgett Smithson,
      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.” should be holding OUR U.S. Government responsible for not being “in it to win it” and causing our vets to have these problems.

  • robert w sanders May 21, 2021, 2:03 pm

    always blaming it on what kind of gun used. Not the gun people who did the damange. It was the mental case human being.

  • Mauser6863 May 21, 2021, 10:37 am

    The War Always Comes Home. What was the reason we sent our guys to all these wars again? With the exception of Afghanistan, who harbored our attackers, it looks like zero benefit, based on the cost of killed and wounded. Should have just Nuked all the Afghans, as it would have been quicker and cheaper.

    Not making excuses for this veteran and his criminal actions, he got what he deserved and will now be judged for it. The conclusions of the “Sheep” are funny to read, some people are just stuck on stupid, but others will draw the correct conclusion, that you and only you are responsible for your safety.

    • Bumper May 21, 2021, 12:25 pm

      A good summary.

    • FALPhil May 24, 2021, 8:08 am

      Part of the problem is the endless proxy wars that the chickenhawk neoclowns goad us into. Most people don’t think about the fact that we have already entered the second generation of constant war. You are exactly right, Mauser6863. There is no upside to trying to change the North Africa, Middle East and the ‘stans. We should get out and have nothing to do with that region.

      • Armed and Dangerous May 24, 2021, 10:27 am

        I wish it was that easy FALPhil. The problem is Isreal would have no protection. They are surrounded by countries that would like nothing better than to kill every Jew. Without our support they would be destroyed.

      • bill May 24, 2021, 12:10 pm

        falphil our government should have listened to Patton and McArthur after ww2.
        they had the right ideas and if followed we would have not had the problems now.

    • Kane May 24, 2021, 10:19 am

      I remember the eve of war in Iraq. You had GHWB’s WH diplomats in discussion with Iraq. The countries drawn up by British draftsman, after WWI cut out of the Ottoman Empire, were having conflicts over “slant drilling.” The diplomats April Gillaspie (sp?) John Kelly? advised the Iraqi’s that the US had NO vital interest in the conflict. The Iraqi’s invaded their small rich neighbor with the sweetest crude and strange borders. Optimal crude for jet engines.

      (A little tip, whenever you see long straight boarder lines establishing nations then odds are that the early globalists had been there causing all sorts of mischief.)

      Anyway, while Bush 41 was in Aspin, Maggie Thatcher flew in to tell the old man a thing or two. Next thing you know the old man was saying that the Iraqi’s had to retreat which everyone knew he could NOT do that at that point. Everyone should remember the most oblivious details.

      The thing is that Saddam was allowed to remain in power until he started paying hefty bounties to the surviving famlies suicide bombers in Israel. The Israeli’s call the Americans ” players who can’t play” and maybe they are right to some degree but they sure fing US very useful.

      The violent people are probably a result of Big Pharma’s solution to mental health problems that many have incldung vets. Maybe the psychotropics are a part of the problem.

      Now, tell me what I got wrong.

  • Clint W. May 21, 2021, 10:36 am

    Lots of back and forth comments here, they actually do nothing but let you vent your spleen. If you do not actively support the NRA, the SAF, the CCRTKBA, or other pro-2A groups, along with writing you government representatives at all levels, plus letters to the editor of you local fish wrap, then you’re nothing but hot air on the internet.

    • Kane May 24, 2021, 9:47 am

      Agreed. I am very tired of supposedly pro 2A people venting their spleen on La Pierre, the NRA et cetera all while parroting the anti’s without providing any supporting details and sources

  • Jerry S. May 21, 2021, 8:42 am

    Just read an article that said shoving objects up your butt caused more deaths in America than the so-called “assault rifle” you demonize. So which group do you belong to? AR stand for Armalite Rifle, the original designers of the semi-auto sporting rifle used by civilians. Only the military and rich people can afford the full auto versions. “Assault Rifle” is a Hollyweird term used by celebs and picked up by the media, both of which wouldn’t know one end of firearm from the other.

    • jrkmt1 May 21, 2021, 2:29 pm

      No, rich people are not the only ones who can afford full auto arms (military service members don’t own the M16 and M4 rifles they use, the U.S. government does). I know plenty of regular people who own military surplus full auto firearms, including M16s, AK47s, and other select fire rifles. It may take a number of years to save up $15,000 – $25,000 to be able to buy one but it can and has been done. (Hell, I’ve been known to save for up to 8 years to be able to buy certain pistols or rifles.)
      The term assault rifle is NOT a Hollywood term, it is a World War II German term coined by Adolph Hitler after he viewed a demonstration of the Maschinnen Pistole 1944 (MP44). Seeing that the MP44 was a detachable magazine fed select fire rifle with pistol grip that fired an intermediate rifle cartridge (7.92x33mm, commonly known as the 8mm Kurz) and its capabilities, he immediately renamed it the SturmGewehr 1944 (StG44). Translated from German, SturmGewehr means assault rifle.
      So yes, assault rifle is a real term and has been around for 77 years.
      By the way, the U.S. military does have a definition for assault rifle. Look it up sometime.
      Please do some research before speaking/writing on something you don’t really know anything about.

      • Kane May 24, 2021, 9:38 am

        “So yes, assault rifle is a real term and has been around for 77 years.
        By the way, the U.S. military does have a definition for assault rifle. Look it up sometime.”

        Hmmm. I am no legal scholoar but I think you may have come up short on this issue. What matters is any legal terms established the US Code, the DOJ or legislaion and of course I may have overlooked some other authorities.. I see no relevance in the examples you provide. How about elaborating on you research?

  • Gomer May 21, 2021, 8:30 am

    Seeing Smithson’s comments after the good guy took out the perp tell me it’s too bad the OTHER lady was the one who got dead. Sure hope Smithson hasn’t reproduced, as she’s a taint on the gene pool of humanity.

    • Phillip DeWitt May 21, 2021, 8:43 am

      Gomer very unfair to judge someone who is a old person who was almost killed, lost a friend and what she said was reported second or third hand. You seem a taint on the gene pool Gomer.

  • DeltaLimaEcho May 19, 2021, 9:44 pm

    Hey, Blue Dog,
    You do know there’s a country to our north, correct? Please move.

  • paul May 19, 2021, 5:41 pm

    Good for the guy with the “hunting rifle” he did what needed to be done! Bad for the WWF because it looks like they got their ant-gun hooks into this incident! We Veterans with guns can do more good than harm in today’s society!!!

  • Blue Dog (he/him) May 19, 2021, 3:19 pm

    An army veteran, a weapon of war and another tragedy in American streets. The good guy with a gun didn’t need an AR-15, why did this army veteran need one?

    • Mario May 21, 2021, 6:00 am

      You must be a troll. All guns could be used as weapons of war. The military today uses bolt action rifles to kill the enemy just like the the hero in this story did. Cops use pistols and shotguns just like the military uses but for some reason you trust them more? What about all of the people around you that own weapons? Many of them are Vets. Bows and Arrows have been documented as last being used in WW2. Lots of people enjoy archery. Just admit it. You were never man enough to join the military and risk your life to protect this nation and your own family so you have to vilify other good people to feel like a man. Its not working.

      BTW According to our constitution we don’t have to need a gun before buying one.

      This young man was in obvious mental distress (PTSD) which was well known to the VA and they didnt help him. There should be an investigation as to why this man wasnt treated for his PTSD.

    • KC (sire/your majesty) May 21, 2021, 6:15 am

      We don’t need another whiner on this board, yet here you are. I don’t need you to vote, either. While we’re on the subject of need, there are probably rooms in your house you don’t need. It would be much more socially just to house homeless unfortunates with you.

    • Tarheel Realist May 21, 2021, 6:17 am

      It’s called the 2nd Amendment and it doesn’t distinguish what can and can’t be in possession of a UScitizen.

      As for “weapons of war”, check your ignorance at the door and do a little research before you show the world how deep said ignorance runs.

    • Jrp May 21, 2021, 6:21 am

      3300 innocent people die everyday in this country from car accidents. Do you still own a car Blue dog? One evil guy paints all veterans bad and they shouldn’t have semi automatic guns according to you? Veterans can go to war to protect your 1st amendment but not their second? Hypocrite.

      • Mike May 21, 2021, 8:05 am

        Sir, you’re off significantly. More like 100 traffic fatalities in US daily. About 40k per year. But I get the point you’re making.

    • Ron Y May 21, 2021, 6:51 am

      Please stop with comments of which you have no knowledge. Americans do not have “weapons of war” as your Left media made the term up. In order to get a permit for a “weapon of war” which would be an automatic weapon, you need tens of thousands of dollars between the weapon, permits, background checks, tax stamps, etc.. The “hunting rifle” which may turn out to be the same rifle the veteran used, is a single bullet for each pull of the trigger. So a good guy with a gun stops and individual who served our country and evidently has mental health issues and you jump on the “weapon of war” bull bandwagon. Do you even know how many deaths are caused by firearms’ each year? A couple of years ago the CDC published a study listing the top 117 causes of deaths in the USA. Weird number until you realize they had to go that high just to get firearm deaths which was listed at 113 on the list. They even had to include suicides in their number which accounted for half the deaths. There is no gun bloodbath epidemic happening. There is a massive push from the Left for total Socialist control of Americans.

      • jrkmt1 May 21, 2021, 2:56 pm

        The only “permit” one is required to have to own a full automatic firearm is the tax stamp that costs $200. The ATF does not charge a fee to conduct its background check. The costs of the fingerprint service and passport sized photos that are to accompany your application are less than $100. This is all negligible in comparison to the cost of the firearm and easily affordable.

        • DELCO May 24, 2021, 5:30 pm

          WRONG! Jrkmt1 you are thinking of the standard $200 stamp required for a suppressor or certain other FFL items. For the Full Auto maybe you should look it up because you obviously have never gone through the process. Not trying to be a FN know it all , but I do know exactly what is involved to go full throttle

    • Blasted Cap May 21, 2021, 6:52 am

      Ill give mine up when the police and other Government agencies give theirs up. Fair deal?

    • cadiyn May 21, 2021, 8:00 am

      Being an Afghan Vet, he is probably sick, and shooting him was the right thing to do under the circumstances. But the whole incident may have been avoided if we Vets did not have to fight the VA for every little bit of help we need!!

      • bill May 24, 2021, 1:17 pm

        All a vet has to do is renounce his/her U.S. citizenship, go to a country south of the U.S. and come back as an illegal alien and the U.S. gubbmint will throw piles of money, clothing, food and shelter and education at him/her for free.

    • Joe w May 21, 2021, 8:21 am

      Not only are your comments out there, but you have the gall to put “he/him” after your name. Who cares if your a he/him/her/it? I surely don’t. By you doing just that speaks volumes. He/him indeed.

      • kc (sire/your majesty) May 21, 2021, 9:56 am

        Not to worry. Use his “logic” against him. My ARs identify as muskets, so it’s all good. On a similar topic, I was considering the ramifications of gun buybacks after the prospective purchaser’s background check revealed multiple cases of domestic violence…

        • kc May 21, 2021, 9:58 am

          *should have specified government gun buybacks, but you get the picture

        • Armed and Dangerous May 24, 2021, 10:49 am

          kc (sire/your magesty)

          I love your sense of humor. Blue Dog is just a dirt bag troll

    • Jerry Jones May 21, 2021, 8:55 am

      A weapon of War????……Tell us Einstein…….Name ONE government that has armed its troops with AR15’s?

    • jrkmt1 May 21, 2021, 3:32 pm

      The only “weapons of war” that the vast majority of gunowners may have are single shot, lever action, bolt action, or semiautomatic only rifles, a variety of single shot, revolving cylinder, or semiautomatic handguns, or some type of shotgun that has been listed has obsolete by any number of world governments and sold off as military surplus.
      No government in the world issues a semiauto only rifle as its primary battle weapon.
      As to what the neighbor used to stop the shooter, he used what he probably had available. He could have also used a handgun or shotgun. The fact of the matter is, the neighbor stopped the shooter. What he used is immaterial (though there are numerous verifiable reports of people using an AR15 or some other type of Modern Sporting Rifle to prevent or curtail robberies, home invasions, and mass shootings)..
      I am curious on one point, though. What is a “hunting rifle”? Mine are an SKS, an AK47, and an AR15. (I also use a 104 year old, semi-sporterized, military surplus Eddystone Pattern 1917.)

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