Men Arrested After Shooting Each Other In Bullet Proof Vests When Drinking
Charles Eugene Ferris, 50, and Christopher Hicks, 36, were both detained on Monday after the incident, which took place on Sunday.
According to an affidavit obtained by the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, a Benton County Sheriff's Office deputy had interviewed Ferris when he was admitted to hospital on Sunday night - which was when he tried to pass off an elaborate cover story for his injury. He reportedly had a red spot on his upper chest.
Initially Ferris told the deputy an 'asset' had paid him $200 (£150) for protection. The two of them then met another man at around 10pm, with their meeting ending up in a gunfight - Ferris saying he was hit multiple times before returning shots, fleeing in a car and being taken to hospital.
His wife Leslie, meanwhile, told police her husband and neighbour Hicks had been drinking outside their home in Rogers, Benton County, when gunfire broke out.
Ferris later admitted to making up his original tale as a means of protecting his friend, confirming that he and Hicks had indeed been drinking - and were playing with a bulletproof vest.
He had asked Hicks to shoot him, which was when his neighbour fired a .22 calibre semi-automatic rifle at his chest, leaving the mark that he revealed in hospital.
According to KARK-TV, Ferris had been 'pissed' about the injury. He then 'unloaded the clip' at Hicks, who was hit five times in the back. Thankfully, by this point, Hicks had put the vest on, and none of the bullets pierced the material.
The two men were arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault. 5News reports that this is a Class D felony, and carries the potential penalty of six years in prison, along with a fine of up to $10,000 (£7,600).
Neighbours near Ferris' home had understandably been alarmed by what happened.
One neighbour since told 5News: "I have three kids, two of them still live at home here... right next to them.
"They shoot as many as 50 to 100 rounds at a time.
"I just want to make sure it's not just left hanging, no charges.
"There has to be something done about it. If nothing is done it could escalate into someone getting seriously injured.
"Maybe somebody that is not on their property."
No formal charges have been filed against Ferris or Hicks, who were both released earlier this week on a $5,000 (£3,800) bond.
Local media reports that the two are due to appear in a Benton County court at 8am on 13 May for their hearing.
Featured Image Credit: PA