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SALT LAKE CITY — A member of the Goshute Tribe claimed he shot at people who "were coming back to life" before stabbing his brother in the chest, according to charging documents filed in U.S. District Court.
Ronald Hesswood Blackbear also said after the stabbing that he was "infected," told an FBI agent he might also be "infected," and said either one of them could "turn" at any time, the charges state.
Blackbear, 61, was charged Monday by federal prosecutors with assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm while within Indian Country. The charge stems from an incident at his brother's house on the Skull Valley Indian Reservation.
On Nov. 13, Tooele County sheriff's deputies and Bureau of Indian Affairs police officers received a report of a possible stabbing and shooting at the house, FBI agent Dustin Grant wrote in an affidavit filed as part of the charging documents.
Officers found what appeared to be blood on the front door and a .30-30 rifle nearby, Grant wrote. The gun had an empty shell casing in the chamber. There was also a trail of "blood-like drops" that went from the house to a neighboring house, Grant wrote.
Investigators found Blackbear's brother in the neighboring house. The man — identified in court records as "Victim A" — had been stabbed in the chest and had a severely lacerated hand. He was flown to University Hospital.
Officers found Blackbear and another man near Skull Valley Road. The man told investigators Blackbear was walking along the road when he picked him up. He said Blackbear had a bloody knife and claimed to have stabbed a family member, Grant wrote.
The man said Blackbear also told him "that people were coming back to life from his closet, so he fired a gun at them and left the body lying there," the agent wrote.
The man gave investigators a knife he said he had taken from Blackbear. It was a fixed-blade hunting knife that was at least 8 inches long and appeared to be covered in dried blood, Grant wrote.
He then asked if we could see 'them.' When he was asked to clarify who 'them' was, he stated, 'All the people coming back to life. I shot one in the house. Where's the body? It came back to life.'
–FBI agent Dustin Grant
FBI agents interviewed Blackbear's brother at the hospital. He told them Blackbear was staying with him temporarily and had been drinking heavily in the days before the stabbing, Grant wrote.
"Victim A described that Blackbear began acting strange, talking to himself, appearing to hallucinate and became very irritable," the agent wrote.
The injured man told investigators he fell asleep watching TV and was awakened by the sound of a gunshot inside his house. He said he took a rifle from Blackbear and threw it on the floor.
"Blackbear then obtained a hunting knife and Victim A began to fight with Blackbear in an attempt to defend himself," Grant wrote, noting that after the man was stabbed, he escaped and went to the neighbor's house for help.
Grant said Blackbear told investigators his brother attacked him, so he stabbed his brother with a knife.
"He then asked if we could see 'them,'" Grant wrote. "When he was asked to clarify who 'them' was, he stated, 'All the people coming back to life.' Blackbear then said, 'I shot one in the house. Where's the body? It came back to life.'"
Investigators did not find any bodies in the house, charging documents state.
Blackbear is due back in federal court Thursday for arraignment.