ROGERS, Ark. (KFSM) — Two Arkansas men were arrested after police say they shot each other during a night of drinking while each man tried on a bulletproof vest.
Police say Charles Eugene Ferris, 50, and Christopher Hicks, 36, were both arrested Sunday (March 31) in connection with aggravated assault — a Class D felony, according to CBS affiliate KFSM.
Deputies in Benton County, Arkansas listened to an initial report from Ferris that turned out to be a cover-up story for both men, KFSM reports.
Ferris said he was hired to protect an “asset,” who paid him $200 to follow him into the woods at Hobbs State Park, according to a probable cause affidavit.
According to KFSM, Ferris said the pair went out into the woods and met another man around 10 p.m. The man approached Ferris’ “asset” when a gunfight broke out. Ferris said he was struck six times, but also managed to return fire before driving off with the “asset,” according to the affidavit.
Ferris said the “asset” dropped him off at his vehicle before he dumped his weapons and drove himself to Mercy Hospital.
However, Ferris’ wife arrived at the hospital a short time later, telling investigators that her husband and Hicks shot each other while drinking on the back porch of their home on Deer Run Lane, KFSM reports.
The story Ferris told authorities was later recanted. He said he only wanted to keep Hicks out of trouble.
Ferris said he had been wearing the vest when he asked Hicks to shoot him with a .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle. The vest stopped the bullet, but still hurt and left a mark on his chest.
Ferris, now “pissed” because he was hurting from the shot, “unloaded the clip into Christopher’s back,” according to the affidavit attained by KFSM.
Reports say Hicks’ only suffered bruising from the gunshots.
Ferris initially told his wife “he was fine” after the shooting, but complained about the pain, so she told him to go to the hospital, according to the affidavit.
Hicks and Ferris are free on $5,000 bonds. A judge issued a no-contact order between the men.