News and Press Releases

Blackstone Man Arrested on Gun Charge After Alleged Shooting at VA Hospital

February 22, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. – Cornelius I. Hayes, 55, of Blackstone, Va., was arrested today for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was taken into custody for allegedly firing the weapon at an individual in the parking lot of the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Richmond, Va.

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Michael F. A. Morehart, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after Hayes made an initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge David J. Novak. 

            Hayes faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison if convicted on the firearm charge.

            According to a criminal complaint affidavit, Hayes was allegedly observed firing shots in the Veteran’s Administration Hospital parking lot, and an individual sustained gunshot wounds to his head and left eye as a result of the shooting. The victim was transported to the Medical College of Virginia Adult Emergency Center.

            Hayes was allegedly seen leaving the parking lot in a blue Ford truck, which was later stopped by Virginia State Police near Route 10 and I-295. The affidavit alleges that officers observed a revolver in Hayes’ lap at the time of the traffic stop, and the revolver contained three spent cartridges and two live rounds.

            According to the affidavit, Hayes has two prior felony convictions on Oct. 11, 2001 for assault and battery of a law enforcement officer and for discharging a firearm at an occupied building.

            This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, with assistance from the Richmond Police Department and the Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Peter Duffey and Erik Siebert are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

Criminal complaints are only charges and not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on


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