Benefit for game warden set for Jan. 18

Jan 6, 2014

Friends of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Warden Chris Fried, who was shot Dec. 29, are sponsoring a benefit for the officer set for 5-7 p.m. Sat., Jan. 18, at the Delta County Civic Center.

There will be stew and chili, beverage and dessert for $8 and $10 for takeout orders, according to planners. Fundraising will include a live auction with many items, they said.

“We are just trying to show our support for Chris [Fried],” said Carol King, one of the many organizers. “It is such a good cause.”

Two men were recently arrested and booked into the Delta County Jail in Cooper in connection with the shooting of Chris Fried, , who was injured while bow hunting in the federal Wildlife Management Area east of Cooper Lake.

Eli Stephens, 18, and Dalton Haddix, 21, both of Illinois, were arrested in connection with the shooting. Stephens was 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 warden remains in stable condition in the intensive care unit of Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where he underwent surgery for a gunshot wound from a high-powered rifle bullet that entered his upper right shoulder and lodged in his chest (in which it is still lodged).

A benefit account called Chris Fried Benefit Account has been established at both Enloe State Bank and First National Bank in Cooper for expenses.

“It was an overall joint effort in this case. We appreciate the help of the Texas Parks and Wildlife and local law enforcement,” said Delta County Sheriff Ricky Smith and Chief Deputy Donnie Willingham.

It took nearly two hours for authorities and emergency personal to locate Fried. He was taken by ambulance to Hopkins County Memorial Hospital in Sulphur Springs before being transported to Dallas.

Stephens and Haddix have since bonded out of jail.