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Man who killed gunman at Fort Smith apartments won’t be charged, authorities say

by Brianna Kwasnik | July 28, 2021 at 1:21 p.m.
A gavel and the scales of justice are shown in this photo.

An off-duty Department of Homeland Security employee who shot and killed a gunman believed to have fatally shot a woman at a Fort Smith apartment complex in May will not be charged, authorities said Wednesday.

On May 15, Zachary Brian Arnold, 26, shot and killed 87-year-old Lois Hicks at Three Corners apartments, 3600 S. 74th St., according to a news release from Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue.

Arnold was standing on the green space outside of her apartment’s back door at the time, and continued shooting at neighboring apartment buildings, Fort Smith police said in a separate release.

At that time, Wallace A. West, a 58-year-old off-duty Department of Homeland Security employee, shot twice from his balcony using a hunting rifle, the release states.

Police said the first shot missed, drawing gunfire from Arnold to West’s location. West shot again, striking and killing Arnold, according to the release.

When officers arrived, West was compliant and handed his rifle to officers, police said.

The prosecuting attorney declined to file charges, stating West acted lawfully when he shot Arnold, the release states. Police said they believed West’s actions “likely saved a number of lives.”

Arnold is believed to have fired 93 rounds before West killed him, police said.


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