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Pair of Illinois Hunters Charged With Shooting Game Warden

In the movie Meatballs Bill Murray's character warned Camp North Star visitors that hunting season had opened and that they should wear bright clothing and stay low. Hunters know that every precaution must be taken when hunting, but one game warden from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is in stable condition in a hospital after a pair of hunters from Illinois shot him while hunting near the Cooper Wildlife Management Area northeast of Dallas.

Eli Stephens, 18, and Dalton Haddix, 21, both from Illinois, were arrested and placed in Delta County Jail on Tuesday. Stephens was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, while Haddix was charged with failure to report a felony. Apparently, the two were hunting in an area adjacent to the Cooper Wildlife Management Area, shot Game Warden Chris Fried, 31, who was off duty and hunting in the area, but then failed to render aid when he called out, "You shot me."

Fried, underwent surgery for a gunshot wound from a high-powered rifle that entered his upper right shoulder and lodged in his chest. He was sitting in a blind bow hunting when he saw a light and heard what he thought was an electronic game call. He left his stand to investigate thinking someone might be hunting illegally. After being shot, he used his cell phone to call for help.

Investigators determined the shot came from a private property nearby, which led officers to the suspects and the arrests.


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