Note: This item is more than three months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.
Dec. 31, 2013
Two men charged in shooting of Texas game warden
AUSTIN – Two men have been arrested and charged in connection with the shooting of a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden earlier this week.
Booked into the Delta County jail in Cooper were Eli Stephens, 18, and Dalton Haddix, 21, both of Illinois. Stephens has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony. Haddix was charged with failure to report a felony, a Class A misdemeanor.
The two men, who came to Texas for the holidays, were taken into custody by game wardens Tuesday afternoon following an investigation by TPWD game wardens, Texas Rangers and the Delta County Sheriff’s Office.
The charges stem from the Sunday shooting of Game Warden Chris Fried, 31, of Cooper. Fried had been off duty and bow hunting on the Cooper Wildlife Management Area when the incident occurred around 6 p.m.
The warden remains in stable condition in the intensive care unit of Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where he underwent surgery early Monday for a gunshot wound from a high-powered rifle bullet that entered his upper right shoulder and lodged in his chest.
According to investigators, Fried had been sitting in a blind on the 14,160-acre wildlife management area, hoping to take a deer, when he saw a light and heard what he believed to be a electronic game call. Thinking someone might be illegally hunting on the state property, the warden went into law enforcement mode and left his stand to investigate.
Moments later, as he walked toward the light, Fried was struck by a bullet. The warden yelled, “You shot me!” but no one responded or came to his aid. Fried then used his cell phone to call for help.
Investigators have determined that the shot came from private property adjacent to the WMA. Information from a Delta County resident familiar with the area led wardens to the two defendants.
Fried is stationed in Delta County. He graduated from the TPWD Game Warden Academy in June 2009.
Publication — Permission is granted to publish, in whole or in part, any news releases on this page.
Print — A print-friendly version of the news release shows only the release with font sizes set to the browser default.
Plain Text — Plain text versions of TPWD news releases are provided for copying and pasting into editing software.
To copy text into an editing software:
- Click a Plain Text link to display the plain text page in your browser.
- Select all.
- Paste in a document in your editing program.
Permalink — This is a direct link to the news release, omitting the navigation context from the URI.
English/Spanish — News releases posted in both English and Spanish have one of these links.
If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send an e-mail to email@example.com and mention Plain Text Pages.