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5News

Elderly woman dies in apartment complex shooting; another resident shoots & kills the suspect

Police in Arkansas are looking for answers to explain a shooting in Fort Smith that left an 87-year-old woman and her 26-year-old killer dead.

Fort Smith police said they responded to a call about gunshots shortly before 7:30 a.m. Saturday at an apartment complex not far from Fort Smith Regional Airport, 5News reported. When they arrived, they found Zachary Arnold dead outside and Lois Hicks, shot multiple times, dead inside her apartment.

Witnesses said that Arnold had been outside the complex calling for residents 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 complex, said.

Hicks, who lived in the same building as Arnold, and another woman went outside to see if they could help, resident Amber Lane said. But they ran back inside when they saw Arnold armed with a semi-automatic rifle.

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

Arnold went  back outside and continued to fire at the building, witnesses said, while residents took cover as best they could.  Then one resident, who has not been named, grabbed a hunting rifle and shot and killed Arnold.

“If he didn’t do that, who knows how much worse it could have gotten,” said Lane.

Police said they would release more information when the investigation is complete.

Dixie Property Management, which manages the apartment complex where the shooting took place, released a statement saying it was “terribly saddened” by the shooting and was “working diligently with the police in any way we can.”

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[Featured image: Screenshot from 5News video]