Arizona: Opioid Epidemic and CCW Collide in Phoenix


An armed citizen in Phoenix was at the right place at the right time to stop an armed man trying to rob a Walgreens pharmacy of opioids.

As reported in, 30-year-old Stephen Holguin pulled out a gun, jumped the pharmacy counter at a Walgreens in the 3400 block of West Union Hills Drive, and demanded oxycodone.

An armed customer responded to the deadly threat by shooting Holguin. Police found Holguin wounded but still armed, including a back-up gun, and used a police dog to subdue him. Police administered CPR to Holguin, but he died at the scene.

Police interviewed and released the customer who shot Holguin, and are withholding his identity at his request.

Though Arizona offers concealed-carry permits, it is also a “Constitutional Carry” state: Arizonans can carry either openly or concealed without the requirement of a permit. Arizona also has “third-party defense” laws in place, meaning that you may defend a third person from the illegal use of force with a proportional response.

According to a recent DEA report, there are many more drug-overdose deaths than there are gun-related homicides in the United States. Two Arizonans die each day from opioid overdoses; in fact, the epidemic is so dire that the Arizona Department of Health Services even has a real-time ticker of deaths and overdoses.

— Warren Berg, U.S. LawShield Contributor


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