Pamela Garfield, a surgical nurse, ran to Cain to try to help him. But her brother-in-law told her to stay back, warning that Cain might be dangerous.

The store grew stone-quiet. Tom Samora threw up. Todd Garfield and McMillen say they also felt like vomiting. Garfield put his gun on a shelf and waited for police to arrive.

Garfield seemed callous in the days that followed, McMillen says. When she told Garfield she was upset over the stray bullet that could've killed her, she says he responded, "You should've ducked." She moved all her items out of the store the next day, returning only this month.

Samora also soon left the shop with his collection of antiques.

Ruby Sias, who hadn't been in the store that day, says she was so upset that she took a few days off. But Garfield didn't seem to be affected, she says.

"He told me, 'It's business as usual,'" Sias says.

Joel Hamilton, the antique dealer from across the street, says Garfield showed no remorse following the shooting. Hamilton explains that, a few weeks after Cain's death, he advised Garfield to talk to a psychologist.

"He said, 'I don't have any problem with what I did . . . He's gone now, and I don't have to deal with him anymore,'" Hamilton says. "I said, 'Maybe you're in shock.' He says, 'No, I don't have a problem with it, at all.'"

Ruby Sias quit after Garfield was indicted — packed up her stuff and moved to a different store.

At Garfield's trial, which took place last spring, Sias, Samora, McMillen, and Hamilton were among the witnesses who testified against him. The jury learned the truth of the incident with the toy gun, listened to Garfield's January call to 911 in which he threatened to take care of Cain himself, and heard from witnesses who felt Garfield overreacted to Cain.

Jury members couldn't agree on the second-degree murder charge on which Garfield had been indicted. But in handing down the manslaughter conviction, they tacked on a "dangerous" designation that requires him to serve a minimum of seven years in prison.

Still free at the time, pending the conclusion of his trial, Garfield blew off the verdict hearing, causing a bench warrant to be issued for his arrest.

After agonizing late into the night on the eve of the verdict, he says, he jumped in his car and drove back roads to the Grand Canyon, looking for a cliff to jump off — "one of the big ones."

The distraught Garfield called his girlfriend from a ledge, threatening to commit suicide. Law officers patched into the call, tracked him down, and took him into custody.

Garfield gripes that the prosecutor in the case, Susie Charbel, later told a judge the suicide attempt was "phony."

After coming back from the Grand Canyon, Garfield spent the next four-and-a-half months in the Maricopa County jail waiting to be sentenced. Then, over the summer, state lawmakers tried to come to the rescue of Harold Fish — and ended up getting Garfield released, instead.

His freedom, however, would prove short-lived.


Like Garfield, Harold Fish believes his gun saved his life.

And like Garfield, Fish shot and killed an unarmed, mentally unstable transient who kept coming at him, despite Fish's threat that he would shoot the man if he didn't stay away. The case has some striking similarities to what happened to Garfield — but in Fish's case, there were no witnesses.

The retired schoolteacher from Glendale had been out hiking the Pine Canyon trail, just south of Clint's Well, on May 11, 2004, when he ran into a local transient camped off a dirt road near the trailhead.

Grant Kuenzli, as the public would later learn, was suicidal and had problems controlling his anger. When Kuenzli's two dogs spotted Fish on the trail and ran toward him aggressively, Fish fired a warning shot at the ground with his Kimber 10-millimeter handgun.

The dogs scattered as Kuenzli started running down the trail toward Fish, possibly thinking that a bullet had hit one of the dogs. As Fish tells it, Kuenzli was waving his fists and screaming that he was going to kill Fish.

"I had to assume there was something in his fists — a pocketknife, a switchblade," Fish tells New Times. "You've got microseconds to process all this info, and he wouldn't stop."

Unlike Garfield, Fish was a firearms enthusiast who had trained with his weapon. He'd even taken a class in "unarmed attack," he says. On the trail, with a crazed stranger running at him and threatening his life, Fish made his decision.

"That gun came up, and I fired three of the fastest shots I'd ever taken," he says. "He pretty much fell right at my feet."

The immediate threat to Fish was over — but then came the legal maelstrom that sucked away Fish's money and freedom. The Coconino County Attorney's Office charged him with second-degree murder.

Fish, a father of seven children, estimates he spent about $500,000 on his defense. He still hasn't paid it off. He and his wife took out a second mortgage on their home; his father also mortgaged his own home. His brothers and sisters chipped in thousands. Just as important, large amounts of money began flowing in from the NRA and strangers who had heard about his plight.

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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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