"I feared Roger more than I feared Robert," says McMillen. "Once he put that gun on, he was like a vigilante."

On March 22, 2006, Cain walked into the store and was quickly confronted by Garfield, who pointed the Kel-Tec at the homeless man and told him to get out. Cain left — but returned minutes later with police officers he'd hailed off the street. Cain wanted Garfield arrested for threatening him with the gun.

When the cops asked him for an explanation, Garfield lied to police. He showed them — and Cain — a toy revolver that had been sitting around in the store. He told them that's what he'd aimed at the transient.

"I got scared," Garfield says to New Times. "I thought I was going to be arrested."

He asked McMillen, who had witnessed the entire incident, to back him up, to lie to police, if necessary. McMillen says she was relieved that the cops never asked her whether the gun Garfield had wielded was real.

Cain may have been crazy, but he wasn't stupid. He argued vehemently with police that the toy revolver wasn't the gun Garfield had pointed. But they believed Garfield. They took Cain away and charged him with civil trespassing.

As it turned out, Garfield's lie only made his situation worse.


Pam McMillen's voice grows louder as she recounts the day she saw Bobby Cain die. She points to a dark stain on the carpet near a wall support.

"That's where he fell," she says, grim-faced.

McMillen, a diminutive brunette with glasses, had been helping three customers at the register on Sunday, April 9, 2006, when she noticed Cain walking in.

Knowing the short-fused Garfield had the gun, "I just knew when I saw [Cain] that he was going to get shot that day," McMillen says.

She told him immediately that he had to leave.

"God put me on this Earth to roam," she says Cain told her. Then, he demanded to see "the man with the gun," McMillen says.

Three customers in the store got spooked and fled. But about 10 people were still inside — including Garfield's brother and sister-in-law, Todd and Pamela Garfield.

The Garfield couple had been on their way back to their Flagstaff home after a visit to the Valley when they decided to stop in the antique shop to buy a vase Pamela had spotted earlier. Their timing couldn't have been worse — they walked into the store a minute before Cain.

Todd Garfield says his brother had spoken to him previously about a crazed transient who'd been plaguing him, but this was the first time Todd had seen Cain. Todd says he saw and heard Cain ranting at McMillen at the counter, then turned as his brother came from the back of the store and shouted to Cain.

According to McMillen, Garfield loudly announced, "Here I am!"

Garfield stayed just out of range of a surveillance camera mounted inside the shop.

Samora, a hairdresser in his 70s who also leased space in the store from Garfield, heard the store owner screaming at Cain to get out and Cain yelling back that he didn't have to.

"Roger said, 'I'm going to shoot you if you don't get out,'" Samora says.

McMillen doesn't remember precisely what words were exchanged.

But Garfield says he recalls clearly what Cain said:

"Do you have your gun? If you have that gun in one hand, you better have the deed to this place in the other."

The store owner held up his gun for all to see.

Garfield says Cain then asked, "Is it loaded?"

Garfield says he popped the magazine out, then shoved it back in and racked the slide.

Whether Cain said anything that sounded like a true threat, or not, Garfield claims the man's deranged behavior and size made him fearful.

But, remember, there wasn't much of a physical mismatch. And Cain had nothing in his hands. Apart from a razor blade found later in his pocket, he carried nothing else that could have been used as a weapon. Nor did he attempt to grab any of the myriad items in the store for use as a bludgeon or missile.

Asked at the jail whether he felt Cain would have killed him with his bare hands, Garfield answers without hesitation: "Yes."

Garfield's brother, Todd, says his greatest worry was that Roger wouldn't shoot — and that Cain would grab the gun and start shooting Roger and other people in the store.

Cain continued walking toward Roger Garfield, as recorded by the video camera. All the witnesses interviewed by New Times agree: Cain advanced on Garfield even as the store owner, gun in hand, repeatedly yelled at him to leave the business.

Garfield fired three shots at point-blank range with the tiny handgun. Cain kept coming.

"I saw this little red spot on his chest, and I thought, 'This is like a BB gun!'" Garfield says. So, he fired twice more.

Cain was hit four times, including twice in the chest. An autopsy showed that the third bullet passed through Cain's outstretched arm. The fourth caught Cain just as he was turning away. (A fifth bullet not only missed Cain, but also barely missed McMillen, who was standing behind Cain at the time).

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8 comments
Alittletruthphoenix
Alittletruthphoenix

Attorney Sara J Powell is nothing more than a scum bag personal injury lawyer - check her website out - she proudly displays her membership in the "Million Dollar Fourm" at the bottom of the page - a group of attorney whom proudly proclaim their winning awards in excess of 1 million dollars for clients -

treasurehunter
treasurehunter

I go in this antique mall all the time. I HAD NO IDEA this even happened.

1shot1kill
1shot1kill

Interesting article.

The Garfield - Cain shooting has limited similarities to the Fish case.They both sound like "suicide by self-defense" since the deceased were both mentally / emotionally unstable.

For that matter, Garfield sounds like he doesn't have a full magazine either, e.g. Grand Canyon trip.

The background of provocation between Garfield and Cain certainly adds to the complexity. Provocation pretty much nullifies self-defense according to current law.

As Ray Stern probably is aware, there are two bills in the legislature right now to make concealed carry legal without the training, education and permit. House Bill 2347 and Senate Bill 1108This is a scary thought although education would probably have made little difference with Garfield since it does seem premeditated (and the article slants it this way).

What is unnerving about both killings is that while the shooters will probably end up walking the streets again, both are financially devastated defending themselves in the legal system. Putting the burden of proof on a shooter for self defense doesn't seem compatible with innocent til proven guilty.

The article is a severe indictment of both the public mental health system and the emergency 911 line. Cain was a danger to himself from people like Garfield and should have been in treatment. Guns laws are in place because even though the cops would rather the public not take the law "into their own hands", they acknowledge they can't be everywhere at once.

Publius Maximus
Publius Maximus

Don't worry, Russell Pearce will get you a special bill that allows Arizonans to shoot transients retroactively, so it will apply to Garfield. Joe Arpaio is probably preparing a medal for him.

Teo Buneo
Teo Buneo

From what the other tenants at the store have to say about Garfield and his anger problem and his own words demonstrate that he's a lily livered wimp who planned carefully for his murder of Mr. Cain. The man should get the full 21 years, Those jurors should have convicted on the 2nd degree charge. If you plan a murder it's first degree murder! "Tough Guy" Tom Horne should be shown the door by voters if he's staking his career on support of this murderous wimp. I've worked with little chicken shits with big chips on their shoulders and Garfield fits that description perfectly. I wonder how long it'll be before Mr.Fish murders another stranger that scares him?

mahkai
mahkai

Aggravated assault is more serious than simple assault. Cain would have had to have had a weapon in his possession in order for this to be the case. From this article, it is apparent that he did not.

Interesting article. Thank you.

Peoriaman
Peoriaman

and how about the man, in his own home, waving a bat at police in the City of Peoria was shot dead with two bullets? Wife calls police, police enter home, and kills the man. Great, time we all carry guns. I wouldn't be surprised this guy goes down, but the the murdering police get off scott free.

 
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