Gunshots fired outside Vice President Joe Biden's Delaware home

Gunshots fired outside Vice President Joe Biden's Delaware home
Gunshots were fired from a vehicle near Vice President Joe Biden's Delaware home Saturday night, the Secret Service said. Above, Biden speaking at an event in Istanbul in November. (Emrah Gurel / Associated Press)

Several gunshots were fired from a speeding vehicle outside Vice President Joe Biden's Delaware home Saturday night, the Secret Service said Sunday, adding another security woe for the troubled agency.

Biden and his wife, Jill, were not home and there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, authorities said. The Secret Service, local police and the Baltimore division of the FBI were investigating a possible motive Sunday.


The incident occurred about 8:25 p.m. when agents posted outside the Biden home heard gunshots and one saw a vehicle speed away on the public road outside the secure perimeter of the home, Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback said in a statement.

Police searched the area for suspects and damage but found neither, according to New Castle County Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jacob Andrews.

Within an hour, however, police detained a man who attempted to pass an officer as he secured an outer perimeter. The man, whose name has not been released, was detained for resisting arrest and questioned, a Secret Service official said.

The man was not charged in relation to the shooting, Andrews said.

Shortly after the incident, New Castle police received a report of shots fired near Hoopes Reservoir, a wooded area about a mile away. It was not immediately clear whether that report was related.

Secret Service agents continued to search the Biden property Sunday to determine whether any shots hit the residence or other structures. The home is just outside Wilmington in the quiet neighborhood of Greenville. It is set back several hundred yards from the street, which has remained publicly accessible since Biden's election in 2008.

The home is not visible from the street, but a carriage house where Biden's late mother once lived sits at the foot of the driveway. The Secret Service uses the carriage house now.

Biden was spending the weekend in his home state, but he and his wife were out for the evening when the incident occurred, officials said. He is scheduled to deliver a speech Monday at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast in Wilmington. The Bidens were briefed on the incident Saturday night.

The Secret Service has experienced a string of security problems that have damaged its reputation and resulted in a leadership shake-up.

Last fall, a man carrying a small knife jumped the White House fence and ran inside before a Secret Service agent caught him in the East Room.

The agency also acknowledged that an armed security contractor had been allowed on an elevator with President Obama, a breach in protocol.

Shortly afterward, the Washington Post reported that agents failed to realize that the White House had been hit by bullets during a 2011 incident and did not immediately investigate.

Twitter: @khennessey


Michael A. Memoli in the Washington bureau contributed to this report.