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Illinois men charged in shooting of Texas game warden in wildlife area

Jan. 2, 2014 at 3:09 PM

SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Two Illinois men have been jailed for allegedly shooting a game warden in an east Texas wildlife area, officials say.

Warden Chris Fried was shot in the chest while investigating what he thought was illegal hunting in the Cooper Wildlife Management Area in Delta County, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reported Wednesday.

Mike Cox, a spokesman for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, said Fried was off-duty and bow hunting in the wildlife area when he saw a light and heard what he believed to be an electronic game call. Fried was hit as he walked toward the light.

"The warden yelled, 'You shot me!' but no one responded or came to his aid. Fried then used his cellphone to call for help," Cox said.

Investigators determined Fried was shot by a high-powered rifle fired from private property adjacent to the wildlife area.

Acting on a tip, Cox said, Eli Stephens, 18 and Dalton Haddix, 21, were arrested. Stephens was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Haddix was charged with failure to report a felony, a misdemeanor.

Cox said the men were in Texas for the holidays.

Fried was reported in stable condition at a Dallas hospital.

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