Arkansas Men Arrested for Taking Turns Shooting Each Other While Wearing Bulletproof Vest After Drinking

Charles Eugene Ferris Christopher Hicks
Christopher Hicks (left), 36, and Charles Eugene Ferris, 50, were detained on Monday after the shooting incident. Benton County Sheriff's Office

Two men were arrested in Arkansas this week after allegedly taking turns shooting each other while wearing a bulletproof vest, a police report has said.

Charles Eugene Ferris, age 50, and Christopher Hicks, age 36, were detained on Monday after the incident, which took place on Sunday and left one neighbor alarmed. Details of the case were inside an arrest affidavit obtained by the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

According to the affidavit, a deputy with the Benton County Sheriff's Office first interviewed Ferris after he was admitted to hospital late Sunday night. The man reportedly had a red spot on his upper chest but tried to concoct an elaborate cover story for the injury, police said.

As reported by 5News (KFSM-TV), Ferris claimed an "asset" had paid him $200 for protection. He said the pair met another man at around 10 p.m. and ended up in a gunfight.

The 50-year-old told the deputy he was hit multiple times but returned shots and fled in a car. He said he was taken to the hospital by the so-called asset. Later, he admitted making up the tale in an attempt to protect his friend, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

Leslie Ferris, the man's wife, had a different recollection of events. She told police that he had been drinking outside their home with his neighbor Hicks when gunfire erupted. The couple's residence is located in Rogers, a city in Benton County.

When confronted by investigators, the husband changed his story. According to the affidavit, he confirmed they were drinking and playing with a bullet-resistant vest. After asking Hicks to shoot him, he was hit in the chest with a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle, leaving the mark.

Local media outlet KARK-TV reported Ferris asserted that he had been left "pissed" about the injury and then "unloaded the clip" into Hicks, who by this stage was wearing the vest. The friend was struck five times in the back. Luckily none of the bullets pierced the material.

One local neighbor told 5News he was concerned about his children, who live nearby. "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," he added.

Both Ferris and Hicks were arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault, a Class D felony which carries a potential penalty of six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, 5News reported.

No formal charges have been filed and the pair were released yesterday on $5,000 bond. The two men are currently scheduled to appear in a Benton County court for a hearing at 8 a.m. on May 13, according to local media outlets.