CHEROKEE COUNTY, Oklahoma - A bullet ricocheted after striking a metal plate in a Cherokee County man's neck, according to law enforcement. Authorities say the plate in Robert Thurman's neck may have saved him from paralysis or worse.

The Tahlequah Daily Press reports Thurman called police Friday night and told dispatchers his sister shot him. Undersheriff Jason Chennault told the newspaper that Thurman had an entry and exit wound in the back of his neck. They learned he had a metal plate in his neck from a previous car crash, and bullet apparently hit the plate and ricocheted out before going into a door frame.

"If not for the metal plate, he may have been paralyzed, at the least," Chennault said.

Gretchen Thurman, the victim's sister, was arrested on a complaint of aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Her brother was treated and released from a Tulsa hospital the same night he was shot.

Investigators took a 9mm gun and one shell casing from the mobile home where the shooting took place.