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Threat, evacuations at Del. VA hospital

Jun. 23, 2014 - 07:26PM   |  
A bomb threat on the outskirts of the grounds at the Wilmington Veterans Affairs Medical Center has forced evacuation of three outlying administrative buildings, VA officials say.
A bomb threat on the outskirts of the grounds at the Wilmington Veterans Affairs Medical Center has forced evacuation of three outlying administrative buildings, VA officials say. (Jennifer Corbett/The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journ)
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A bomb threat on the outskirts of the grounds at the Wilmington Veterans Affairs Medical Center has forced the evacuation of three outlying administrative buildings, two of which were occupied, VA officials say.

At approximately 8:10 Monday morning, officials from the Wilmington VA Police were notified that there may have been a bomb placed on the grounds, officials said.

"We received a telephone call this morning indicating that the suspect from the June 6 incident may have left packages on the campus in the area where the incident took place," said James Coty, spokesman for the center.

On June 6, a man VA and court papers identified as Charles Jobe was spotted brandishing a handgun in the center's west parking lot and allegedly pointed it "directly toward" the uniformed VA officers who responded to the scene. One of the officers fired two shots at Jobe, one of them striking Jobe in the hand, according to a federal criminal complaint. Jobe has been charged with assault on a federal police officer.

"From what we understand, the person who was arrested told his cellmate," said Coty, citing the Wilmington VA Police as his source. "That person told another person, who notified Delaware State Police."

The FBI has declined to say where Jobe is being held.

At the hospital Monday, VA officials blocked off and evacuated what a spokeswoman said were outlying administrative buildings.

State police bomb dogs arrived at about 11:45 a.m. to search the northwest quadrant of the west parking lot, near the fence line.

"To be safe, we have blocked off the affected area and cleared the two outlying administrative buildings," said Acting Medical Center Director Mary Ann Kozel. "State Police and FBI are assisting us searching the area. No patients are in the area that is being searched."

Staff and visitors should stay clear of the area until the all clear is given.

"The safety and security of our staff, patients, and visitors is our No. 1 priority," said Kozel.

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