A Walnutport man who tried to enter the Jim Thorpe home of his girlfriend's husband faces aggravated assault and related charges after he allegedly shot the homeowner in the leg.
Thomas Henry Smith, 52, of 4507 Three Mile Lane, told Jim Thorpe Patrolman Michelangelo S. Bokeko that the homeowner, Jace J. Gill, attacked him as Smith tried to get in the door.
According to a news release issued by Jim Thorpe police, at about 7:25 p.m. Monday, Officer Bokeko was dispatched to 11 Lehigh Gorge Drive in the Leisureland section of the borough for a suspicious vehicle. While en route, Bokeko was informed that there was a male at the scene who had been shot.
Upon arrival, Bokeko observed a male lying on the ground in front of the house at that address and a female was applying pressure to his left thigh.
Bokeko also observed a male with a bloody nose standing nearby, and asked him what happened.
The male, who was later identified as Smith, stated that he shot Jace J. Gill in self-defense.
Smith stated that his girlfriend, Judith A. Gill, who is Jace Gill's wife, is in the middle of a divorce and was informed by her attorney that she could enter her house and retrieve her personal belongings along with her vehicle.
Smith stated that he was attempting to get in the front door when Jace came out of nowhere and began to attack him.
Smith and Gill then engaged in a physical altercation which subsequently led to Smith shooting Gill in the legs.
Gill was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township.
Smith was taken to Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital, Lehighton, for medical evaluation and arrested. He is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.
Smith was arraigned before District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe and jailed under $500,000 bail.
According to reports, police from Nesquehoning, Kidder and Mahoning townships assisted.