Arizona Gun Owner Detains Murder Suspect

A good guy with a gun in Arizona last week detained a suspect who allegedly intentionally ran another man over with his car.

“Mesa Police Officers arrested 61-year-old John Lagana after he used his vehicle to run over and kill a man in east Mesa,” the Mesa Police Department said. “The victim was pronounced dead at the scene and was identified as 63-year-old Christopher Heimer.”

“A witness used their own firearm and shot a round into the ground, preventing 61-year-old John Lagana from leaving the area and allowing officers to take him into custody immediately when they arrived,” according to the law enforcement entity.

Here’s how the police describe what happened:

After speaking with numerous witnesses and reviewing video surveillance cameras, officers learned that 63-year-old Christopher Heimer was walking westbound on Alder at the same time Lagana was driving eastbound on Alder. Lagana swerved out of the roadway and struck Heimer as he was walking on the north sidewalk, throwing him into the landscaping of a fourplex apartment complex. Lagana continued to travel eastbound on the sidewalk, damaging mailboxes and landscaping before turning around and driving back toward Heimer. Witnesses say Lagana again drove onto the sidewalk, into the landscaping and ran over Heimer, who was already lying injured on the ground. Lagana then got out of his vehicle and proceeded to stomp on Heimer’s head multiple times. This is when one witness used their firearm to put an end to Lagana’s actions

Emmanuel Reynoso Avila is the man who reportedly held Lagana at gunpoint until police arrived.

While he retrieved his weapon, he says his brother called 911.

“Out of nowhere, we hear a car speed up, and we see my neighbor Chris fly through the air,” Avila said. “I dropped everything I had, and I ran inside to get my gun while he was calling first responders. Then I shot off at the ground toward the driver because he was trying to leave the area after he had run him over a second time.”

“At that point, I aimed back up at him. Let him know that I was going to make sure that he didn’t get away, that I was going to shoot if he attempted to flee the area, which he was. I got him out of the car with his hands up and held him there until the police arrived.”

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Gun” by Karolina Grabowska.


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