Law enforcement launches manhunt for shooting suspect after attack that leaves at least one dead
Law enforcement has launched a manhunt for a suspect in a Wednesday afternoon shootout in Redby that left at least one victim dead.
Red Lake Public Safety Director William Brunelle reported early Thursday afternoon that Red Lake Police received the 911 call concerning a shooting incident in Redby at about 3:12 p.m. Wednesday.
Within minutes of the 911 call Wednesday afternoon, Red Lake Police and Criminal Investigation Division officers arrived at the shooting scene near the Red Lake Fisheries facility. Officers found three victims suffering from gunshot wounds. The victims were identified as Julian Demarrias, 22, Jerrick Demarrias, 19, and Orland Spears, 19.
The three wounded men were taken to Red Lake Indian Health Service Hospital. Julian Demarrias died of his wounds. Orland Spears was transferred to North Country Regional Hospital and was listed in stable condition there Thursday. Neither Red Lake Hospital nor NCRH reported the presence of Jerrick Demarrias Thursday. Redby is five miles east of the city of Red Lake.
The suspect shooter has been identified as Donald Clark Jr., also known as Don Juan. According to a press release issued shortly after noon Thursday, Brunelle said there is evidence to indicate there might be more than one shooter.
The Red Lake Department of Public Safety and FBI are also seeking information on locating persons of interest in the investigation: Jerrilee Head and Cruz White. Brunelle warned that anyone who encounters these persons should not approach them, but should immediately contact the Red Lake Department of Public Safety at 218-679-3313 or the Bemidji FBI at 751-0610.
The public safety director said neither Clark nor the 1988 black GMC Yukon he was driving - Red Lake license plate 19287 - had been located as of Thursday afternoon. Brunelle said Clark and other possible suspects should be considered armed and dangerous.
Three "persons of interest" were named early Thursday, but one, Anthony Morrison, has been determined to not be involved in the shootout, Brunelle said.
A second, Jerilee Head, a woman, has been interviewed, Brunelle said. She remains a person of interest but it's not clear yet if she was present at the shootout or whether she was involved in some way, Brunelle said. A relative of Head told the Grand Forks Herald she is Clark's girlfriend and was being harassed and chased around town Wednesday by the Demarrias brothers.
A third person of interest, Cruz White, is being searched for, Brunelle said
Red Lake Public Safety immediately started the investigation Wednesday with the assistance of the Bemidji FBI office. The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Border Patrol are also assisting in the investigation.
Witnesses to the shooting described the vehicles involved as the GMC Yukon sought in relation to Clark and a Dodge Durango. Witnesses said they heard 8-10 shots and saw the Yukon, black with a cream-colored stripe on the side, speed away from the scene.
Sara King said she was in the Redby store Wednesday at about 3 p.m. when she saw Clark drive by in a large SUV or pickup truck. She then heard and saw police vehicles drive by, headed toward where she lives a couple blocks from the store. She headed over there and saw two men lying, bloody, on the street, about a block from her home.
There was a long gun lying in the street, she said.
"I stumbled over the gun," King said.
People were helping the two men who had apparently been shot, King said.
"They were both moving. They were hollering, because people were putting them on a stretcher and they were hurting," King said.
A third man was in a nearby vehicle that had its back window shot out and was trying to get out, but couldn't until police assisted him, King said.
One of the men at the scene used her cell phone to call the parents of the wounded men, King said.
A man who lives nearby and was working outside said he saw and heard the shooting, which he described as a shootout between Clark and three men.
Another witness, who spoke on condition that his name would not be published, said he knows all four men. He said Clark had a grudge to settle because the brother who survived had held a gun to Clark's toddler's head.
"When I first heard the shots, I thought it was fireworks," the man said. "Then I heard other shots and I looked over and seen the two boys fall. Then they got back up and started shooting again. A few more shots came and then the (Yukon) sped away."
Clark has a history of drug violations and drunk driving in Beltrami County, according to state court records.
In December, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail in Bemidji for a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession and accompanying driving violations and fleeing a police officer.
The case stemmed from April 2009 when he fled deputies across the boundary of the reservation and was arrested later that day.
He also was put on probation in the December sentencing for four years and fined about $1,000, with about half of it stayed.
Clark had lost his driving privileges in 2005.
In August, a warrant was issued for Clark for violating probation on the 2009 charges.
From court records, it appears his unpaid fines were sent to a collections agency last summer and were due Wednesday.
The Grand Forks Herald contributed to this story.