Fort Smith, Arkansas (May 15, 2021) — a disturbed 26-year-old man with a semi-automatic rifle went on a brief rampage at an apartment complex. Standing on the common area lawn, he repeatedly, urgently yelled for residents to exit their apartments. Apparently worried that there was a valid emergency, Lois Hicks, 87, went outside. The gunman shot and killed her.
At this point, unable to talk other residents into stepping outside, the shooter began firing into the apartments.
Thankfully, though, one resident chose not to stay inside. Hearing the gunfire, he grabbed what appears from KFSM’s video to be a Mossberg MVP Predator, dropped down prone on a concrete slab, and quickly ended the situation. The shooter was dead before he was able to hurt anyone else.
From KFSM 5NewsOnline’s story:
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.
We know that police arrived to find the shooter’s body laying outside. What we don’t know is how long it took for the police to respond; how long after the shooting was ended in its tracks.
The average response time to critical emergencies in Fort Smith appears to be about four minutes, according to city reports from 2018 and 2019 (though due to staffing shortages of late, response time may be longer).
If the shooter were given three, four, five, 10 additional minutes wandering around the apartment complex shooting through doors and walls and perhaps escalating in other ways (breaking down doors, leaving for another location, etc.), is there any doubt that this would have been a mass shooting incident if not for the armed neighbor correctly acting as the complex’s own first responder?
Whether it’s police with guns or an armed citizen with a gun, we see over and over that the actual (as-in, absolutely not proverbial) good guy with a gun is what ends these situations. The only real question is whether it ends in a few seconds or a few minutes. Or many, many minutes (or hours).
In an event like this, minutes are lives.