FBI: 3 shot on Red Lake Indian Reservation; 1 said to be deadThe FBI is investigating a triple shooting on the Red Lake Indian Reservation northwest of Bemidji. One person is reportedly dead. Law enforcement is searching for a Donald Lee Clark, 22, on the reservation. A witness described it as a shoot-out between Clark and three men.
By: Stephen J. Lee,
The FBI is leading the search for a Redby, Minn., man wanted in connection with the shooting of three people Wednesday on the Red Lake Indian Reservation northwest of Bemidji.
Several residents of Redby and nearby Red Lake said one of the victims had died. Law enforcement would not confirm that Wednesday.
One witness described it as a shootout between one man and three others; all four had guns, the man said.
Ralph Boelter, special agent in charge of the Minneapolis FBI office, told reporters the shooting happened around 3 p.m. Wednesday.
A Beltrami County Sheriff’s spokesman confirmed that Donald Lee Clark, 22, Redby, is being sought on the reservation in connection with the shootings.
The three victims were taken to Red Lake Union Health Services for treatment, according to The Associated Press. An employee there said no information could be released.
A nursing supervisor at North Country Regional Hospital in Bemidji confirmed that one of the shooting victims was brought to the hospital and was in stable condition Wednesday night.
An employee of a convenience store in Red Lake said the shooting happened in Redby, about five miles from Red Lake. She said she knows two of the victims of the shooting and that one of them, an adult man, has died.
Others in Redby said they, too, had learned,that one of the men had died.
“This is a small town,” said one resident who asked not to be named.
Another 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, two of them brothers who were with a third man, their friend.
The man, who spoke on condition that his name would not be published, said he knows all four men. He said that Clark had a grudge to settle because the brother who survived had held a gun to Clark’s toddler’s head.
The witness said he saw Clark drive up in a black mid-1990s Chevy Suburban with gold pin striping.
“When I first heard the shots, I thought it was fireworks,” said the man. “Then I heard other shots and I looked over and seen the two boys (brothers) fall. Then they got back up and started shooting again, a few more shots came and then the (Suburban) sped away.”
The man said it sounded like shotgun blasts from the two brothers. He said a 12-gauge shotgun was left at the scene, and what appeared to be a smaller .410 shotgun was there, too.
Clark fired an automatic rifle of some sort, the man said.
The two brothers lying in the street were shot in the abdomen area and were alive when they left in an ambulance; but one of them later died, the man said.
The third shooting victim was inside a vehicle at the scene, with a .22 rifle across his lap, unable to move to get out because of his wounds, the man said. The back window of that vehicle had been shot out, the man said.
The two brothers and their friend all were wearing “surgical gloves,” the man said, referring to latex gloves, so it appeared "they were up to something dirty," before the shootout, the man said.
Clark fled the scene in his Suburban, said the man, corroborating what Sara King saw as she was inside the Redby store.
King says she was in the Redby store Wednesday at about 3 p.m. when she saw Clark drive by in the black Suburban. 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.
“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.
The FBI said late Wednesday afternoon that suspects were still at large and no arrests have been made.
The man who assisted the victims before police arrived said it appeared Clark was alone in his Suburban.
FBI agents were in a briefing Wednesday night about the shooting but no information was released after it, an FBI spokesman said.
The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office said it had no information to release Wednesday night, except that the FBI was investigating the shooting.
A dispatcher at the Red Lake tribal police and public safety office said late Wednesday that no information was being released because the investigation was ongoing. But a news release would be issued Thursday, the dispatcher said.
Clark has several criminal violations on his record, including drug possession 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 Beltrami County Sheriff's Office and the Red Lake tribal police are assisting in the investigation.