Several shots fired, one person injured on Blue Ridge Mountain.
CHARLES TOWN - Three people were arrested by the West Virginia State Police and one man was flown to a Virginia hospital following an incident on the Blue Ridge Mountain Tuesday night, according to Jefferson County Magistrate Court documents.
Charles Richard Tibbs, 49, of Knoxville, Md., was arrested and charged with one felony count of unlawful wounding. Abraham Ray Brooks, 27, and Stefanie Lee Zavala, 35, residents of Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg, respectively, were arrested and charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to commit wanton endangerment, records show. The victim, identified as Clint Hendricks, sustained a gunshot wound to his abdomen.
Trooper First Class J.M. Bush, with the West Virginia State Police Charles Town Detachment, heard radio traffic from Jefferson County Emergency Headquarters in reference to a disturbance at 185 Woodpecker Lane, Harpers Ferry, at approximately 7 p.m. Tuesday, records show.
JCEH advised Bush that suspects fled the scene in a white and blue 1984 Ford F-150 truck while the trooper was en route. Bush spoke with a subject named Michael Walter when he arrived on scene, records show.
"(Walter) informed me a physical altercation had occurred between his wife and a couple unidentified females that he didn't know. Mr. Walter informed me the subjects left the area in the stated vehicle stating that they were going to get their friends and they better 'hope they are bulletproof,'" Bush stated in the criminal complaint.
Bush began to circle the neighborhood and observed the suspect truck parked in the middle of Red Maple Lane, directly behind the caller's house, with its headlights turned off. Bush turned his vehicle's lights off, parked the cruiser and began walking toward the truck when he heard several gunshots in the area of the truck and house, records show. No shooter was visible, according to the complaint.
The truck drove away from the scene after the shots were fired, and Bush later was able to pull the truck over. Bush ordered the driver, Zavala, and passenger, Brooks, to exit the vehicle and walk backward to the trooper's location for safety reasons, records show. Both subjects were detained.
Bush then observed the victim, later identified as Hendricks, "stumbling towards my location asking for help, claiming that he had been shot," records show. The trooper noticed Hendricks was covered in blood and that he had sustained a bullet wound to his abdomen.
"I asked Mr. Hendricks who shot him, which he told me Charles Tibbs did. I asked Mr. Hendricks what they were doing at the residence, which he told me he went there to take care of 'something,'" Bush stated in the criminal complaint.
Bush asked the three subjects who fired the weapon and why, but the trooper did not receive an answer, records show.
Bush found a .243-caliber Winchester rifle in the truck, and the barrel was hot to the touch. Bush secured the weapon and found one fired cartridge in the weapon along with four unspent bullets and a butcher knife from inside the truck. Bush arrested Zavala and Brooks, while Hendricks was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia, records show.
Bush returned to the residence and spoke with Tibbs, who informed the trooper that Hendricks came onto the property with a stick, later identified as a sledge hammer, and attempted to attack Walter, Tibbs' son-in-law, records show.
"Mr. Tibbs informed me Mr. Walter had told (Hendricks) several times he wasn't welcome on the property and to leave, but Mr. Hendricks insisted on fighting him," the complaint stated. "Mr. Hendricks swung the stick at Mr. Walter so (Tibbs) fired a warning shot in the air, which didn't work.
He fired another warning shot in the air, which Mr. Hendricks still didn't comply.
Mr. Tibbs informed me he heard a shot coming from the truck at this time, so he fired another shot in the air.
"Mr. Tibbs informed me Mr. Hendricks was still after Mr. Walter so he aimed between Mr. Hendricks' feet at the ground, and fired another shot. Mr. Tibbs informed me that's when Mr. Hendricks grabbed his stomach and stated he had been shot," records show.
Bush found four spent bullets on the ground and observed "a large divot and a rock in the area where Mr. Hendricks had been standing, with gouge marks consistent with a ricochet," according to the criminal complaint.
Bush stated in the complaint that it's believed the bullet ricocheted before striking Hendricks.
Bush collected Tibbs' weapon, a .50-caliber Desert Eagle handgun, along with the spent shell bullets before placing Tibbs in custody, records show.
Tibbs, Zavala and Brooks were transported to the West Virginia State Police Charles Town Detachment for processing before being taken to the Eastern Regional Jail.
The suspects were arraigned Wednesday, with Tibbs being assigned a $20,000 bond and Zavala and Brooks each receiving a $5,000 bond, records show. Brooks and Zavala were not listed in jail records at press time.