WILMINGTON, DEL. — The shots heard outside the Wilmington VA Medical Center Friday afternoon were fired by a Department of Veterans Affairs police officer at a man who pointed a handgun at responding officers - one of whom shot the man, according to a federal criminal complaint.
Charles Jobe allegedly pointed a handgun "directly toward" the uniformed VA officers who responded to the scene in the center's west parking lot. He did not fire the weapon but continued pointing it, said the FBI agent who swore out the complaint.
One of the responding officers then fired two shots at Jobe, court papers said. One round struck Jobe in the hand, causing the "minor injuries" a VA spokesman said he was subsequently treated for in Wilmington's emergency department.
Jobe was described at the time by VA as a 40-to-50-year-old man. No further details were provided in the complaint. He has been charged with assault on a federal police officer. If found guilty, Jobe would face up to eight years in prison.
According to court documents, Jobe drove a Ford F-150 pickup truck into the parking lot of the medical center, located near Elsmere, at about 2:47 p.m. Friday. After parking the truck, he walked around the parking lot armed with a black handgun for approximately 15 minutes.
The complaint does not detail how or when the officers were notified of Jobe's presence, or the number of officers who responded.
The shots startled passersby, including a woman who had come to the center to make a furniture donation that afternoon. Andrea Ritter of Bridgeton, N.J., said she heard yelling, then two shots.
"Someone was yelling, `Put it down, put it down'," Ritter said. "And then we heard `bang'," she said. "And then they continued to yell, `Put it down,' and then another `bang,' and then nothing."
After Jobe was struck, officers ordered him to drop the handgun. Jobe did so, and was taken into custody, according to the complaint.