I-Team: Shooting at the Pony - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

I-Team: Shooting at the Pony

The Alexander County sheriff says someone shot at a Cape Girardeau man's car in the parking lot of The Pony Strip Club in East Cape Girardeau. The Alexander County sheriff says someone shot at a Cape Girardeau man's car in the parking lot of The Pony Strip Club in East Cape Girardeau.
Roberts believes the effort ended to find out who shot at him. Roberts believes the effort ended to find out who shot at him.
"There's a bullet hole right there,” Roberts said as he pointed to the hole and the broken reflector. “That's the reason why it's damaged." "There's a bullet hole right there,” Roberts said as he pointed to the hole and the broken reflector. “That's the reason why it's damaged."
"I want everybody to know what's going on over there," Roberts said. "And how shady they are. And how they're covering shootings up." "I want everybody to know what's going on over there," Roberts said. "And how shady they are. And how they're covering shootings up."
EAST CAPE GIRARDEAU, IL (KFVS) -

The Alexander County sheriff says someone shot at a Cape Girardeau man's car in the parking lot of The Pony Strip Club in East Cape Girardeau.

But, while this report is new, the shooting is not.

It actually happened four months ago.  

Why are you just now hearing about it?  

While it’s clear someone had a gun in the parking lot of the Pony that night, it took weeks to even confirm a shooting happened.

Plus, police reports from two different agencies tell two very different stories, and raise serious questions if the shooting is even being investigated at all.

"I never realized that the bullets had actually passed so close to my head and actually lodged into my car until afterward,” Jacob Roberts said.

Someone fired the shots at his car back on May 10. 

Roberts says he had just dropped his roommate off at the strip club entrance when a man opened his car door.

"I had my seat belt on," Roberts said. "He couldn't drag me out. And I just took off."

Roberts says he circled the lot, then saw the same man blocking his way, with what appeared to be a gun in his hand.

"I just kept coming at him," he said. "I was hoping like, who's going to be stupid enough to keep standing there? He's gonna move. He's gonna move. And, I saw him raise up. So, I just ducked down below the steering wheel and kept driving. And I hit, I struck Josh."

Josh Emerson is a manager at the Pony.

Roberts says he heard three to four gunshots as he drove away from the business.

Emerson told police Roberts "tried running me over twice," but made no mention of any shots fired.

Roberts' roommate, who asked to have his identity protected, told police he was headed out of the club when he heard them. 

"It kinda scared me, hearing the gunfire,” the roommate said. “We waited there five, ten minutes, we came out looking for Jacob and couldn't find him anywhere."

A second Pony employee told police Roberts "came straight on at my manager," but again, no mention of gunfire. 

Roberts says he sped back over the bridge and stopped at a Cape Girardeau gas station. He was quickly met by Cape police, who arrested him on a DUI. According to Cape's report, Roberts told the officers he'd been shot at, and they noted two possible bullet holes in his rear bumper.

At Cape PD, Roberts told Alexander County deputies he feared for his life. According to his report, Sargent Steve Mathis went back to the Pony and asked Emerson if he pulled a gun. The manager said no, and offered to provide witnesses and video from the parking lot. 

But that's where the report ends, and where Roberts believes the effort ended to find out who shot at him. 

"I want everybody to know what's going on over there," Roberts said. "And how shady they are. And how they're covering shootings up."

Alexander County Sheriff Tim Brown won't go on camera even after repeated requests, but did say that yes, a shooting happened that night and yes, Jacob Roberts is the victim. Sheriff Brown says video from the Pony parking lot clearly shows muzzle flashes, but he says you can't see who's got a gun. 

There was a second police agency involved in this case, that's until William Gibson lost his job as the East Cape Police Chief back in July. 

"I feel like he was doing his job correctly," Roberts said. "And I feel like the sheriff's department didn't like it.

Roberts feels Gibson got fired, in part, for investigating the shooting. 

But, the village attorney says back when it happened, Gibson’s firing had nothing to do with Pony owner Jerry Westlund, or any of Westlund’s East Cape businesses.

And, there are some key points between Alexander County's report and Gibson's report worth noting. 

First, Alexander County took Roberts' car. A tow report lists damage to the left rear reflector, but no mention of any bullet holes. 

"There's a bullet hole right there,” Roberts said as he pointed to the hole and the broken reflector. “That's the reason why it's damaged."

They kept the car for four days but didn't search it. 

"I was shot at that night. And that's the reason why my car was taken. So why couldn't you do that?” Roberts asked.

One day after he got it back, Cape Girardeau police did search it and removed a bullet near the passenger side window. 

"They took it out right here,” he said as he showed the damage inside his car.

Sheriff Brown says he saw muzzle flashes in the Pony surveillance video, and confirms Roberts is the victim. 

But, Gibson says Sargent Mathis told him there were no bullet holes in the vehicle and no muzzle flashes seen in the parking lot video. 

"I seemed to all add up, whenever someone's trying to cover something up,” Roberts said. “And he's the main guy trying to solve it.  Of course they want to go after him." 

Sheriff Brown says the shooting and the hit and run are connected, yet Jacob Roberts has never stepped foot inside the sheriff's office or been contacted in the four months since both incidents happened.  

He will step back into an Alexander County courtroom on Nov. 17, and says he only wants the whole story to be heard. 

Why did that Pony employee get hit with your car that night?

"Because I was in fear for my life because there was a gun,” he replied. 

In the weeks of this iTeam investigation of this shooting, there has been no straight answer as to what’s next.

East Cape Mayor Joe Aden says he knows about the shooting, but the village hasn't taken any action to hold the Pony accountable.

John Schneider is the attorney for the strip club and the village. He said if there's some sort of investigation, they can't talk about it. 

Sheriff Brown did call confirm on Sept. 10 that it is an open shooting investigation. 

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