'I Couldn't Just Stand By': Armed Citizen Ends Deadly Attack

Eric Scheiner | August 15, 2022
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Mesa, Arizona police say a witness used their own firearm to hold a murder suspect at bay.

Authorities report receiving multiple calls on Friday about someone intentionally using their vehicle to run over another person. Police claim 63-year-old Christopher Heimer was hit by a car repeatedly. Then the suspect, 61-year-old John Lagana, allegedly got out of the vehicle and stomped on his head.

ABC15 Arizona reports neighbors witnessed the attack. Including next door neighbor Emmanuel Reynoso Avila.

Avila says, "I couldn't just stand by and watch my neighbor die senselessly."

"We saw Chris fly through the air. We saw him land. He was unresponsive. I immediately rushed inside. I grabbed my gun," Avila told ABC15.

Avila says Lagana then got back into his car.

"I yelled 'Get out of the car.' I shot a warning shot, just to let the guy know I was serious, and then he eventually came out of the car once I aimed it at him," he said. 

Avila added that's where the gun stayed pointed until police arrived.

Heimer died from his injuries.

Lagana was arrested and is being held on a 2 million-dollar bond. He is facing one charge of first-degree murder.

Related: Democrat Rep. Proposes Bill To Force 1,000-Percent Tax On 'Assault Rifles'

 

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