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Prosecution finds use of deadly force justified in shooting of man who killed 87-year-old woman in Fort Smith apartment

Witnesses at the scene say a man tried to lure neighbors outside of their apartments before he shot and killed 87-year-old Lois Hicks.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — Update: Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue has found Wallace West, the man that shot and killed Zachary Arnold, a 26-year-old Fort Smith man that killed an 87-year-old woman after he fired rounds into her apartment, justified in his killing. 

Original Story:

Police are investigating a shooting at an apartment complex in the 3500 block of S. 74th Street in Fort Smith on Saturday (May 15) morning. 

Officers responded to gunshots call at around 7:23 a.m. Once on scene, they found two bodies.

One body was found inside the apartment and one outside. The bodies have been identified as 87-year-old Lois Hicks and 26-year-old Zachary Arnold.

Hicks was shot multiple times inside her apartment by Arnold, who was armed with a semi-automatic rifle. Arnold continued to shoot his rifle at neighboring apartments. A resident at the apartments heard the gunshots and got a hunting rifle that he shot and killed Arnold.

Neighbors who witnessed the shooting say Arnold was trying to persuade people to come outside their apartment buildings. 

“He was yelling and screaming, “You guys get out here, come out here, everyone gets 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 they ran back inside their apartments when they saw the gun. 

“There were two older women. Both had come out. One of them had run 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 investigation is still underway, and more details will be released when appropriate and at the end of the investigation. 

Dixie Property Management released the following statement:

“We are terribly saddened by the incident which happened this morning. We are working diligently with the police in any way we can. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families today.”.