Woman being shot uses stool to fight off robbery suspect, say investigators
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FORT HALL — Investigators say a woman fought off a man with a stool while he shot her during a robbery in Fort Hall.
According to federal court documents charging Jose Acosta Jr., 40, of Pocatello, with “robbery in Indian country,” he banged on the door of a trailer home off Eagle Road around 7 a.m. Wednesday, demanded money and shot a woman at least three times.
An FBI agent writes in an affidavit charging Acosta that around 7:35 a.m., the Fort Hall Police Department got called to the home for the report of a person shot. When police arrived, they found the victim shot in the upper right arm and twice in the left leg. Emergency medical services then rushed her to Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello.
A witness told investigators the victim arrived at his house around 3 a.m., and they fell asleep in the living room. Then around 7 a.m., the witness heard a knock at the door. When he answered the door, he found it was Acosta.
Acosta “immediately” told the witness to leave, which he said he did because he feared Acosta.
The woman said when Acosta came inside, he demanded money from the witness, who muttered something she did not understand. The witness then left the house with his dogs.
Acosta came inside, reportedly with a .22 caliber pump action rifle. Acosta allegedly demanded money from the woman and told her to empty her pockets. When she refused, Acosta lifted the rifle and shot her in the arm, according to court documents.
Acosta demanded money again and when the victim refused, he swung the rifle like a bat to hit her in the head, according to court documents.
The victim grabbed a stool and swung it at her attacker.
Acosta shot the victim two more times in the leg and kept swinging the rifle like a bat, according to documents. With the victim still using the stool to keep him at bay, Acosta left the home and drove away in a PT Cruiser.
When the witness saw Acosta drive away, he went back into the home and found the woman shot. The victim called for an ambulance.
The witness said his phone was missing from the home and he believed Acosta stole it, according to court documents. It is unclear if Acosta got any money.
Investigators searched the home, where they found four .22 caliber bullet casings on the floor. Investigators also found the broken buttstock of a rifle.
When EastIdahoNews.com called Portneuf Medical Center on Thursday morning, they had no record of the victim.
Pocatello Police arrested Acosta around 5:30 p.m., according to a Shoshone-Bannock Tribes news release.
Although Acosta is accused of a crime, it does not necessarily mean he committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Acosta was scheduled to make his initial appearance over video Thursday afternoon.
If convicted of felony federal “robbery in Indian country,” a judge could order Acosta to spend up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine followed by three years of supervised release.