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Stephen J. Lee, Forum Communications Co., Published January 21 2011

Indictments reveal Red Lake shooting details

GRAND FORKS – Indictments handed down this week by a federal grand jury in Minneapolis against two Redby, Minn., men in the Nov. 3 shooting that left one man dead and two of his brothers wounded reveal new details about what the FBI says happened.

Made public Thursday, the indictments charge Donald Leigh Clark Jr., 22, and Cruze Anthony White, 22, Redby, of five counts: murdering Julian DeMarrias, 22, and attempting to murder Jerrick DeMarrias, 19, and Orland Spears, 19, by shooting them. The three victims are brothers, say those who know them.

All five men are members of the Red Lake Tribe of Chippewas, and the shooting happened on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, facts cited in the indictment and the reason the FBI has jurisdiction in the case.

White and Clark had been fugitives until Clark was arrested late Saturday in Redby, found hiding under a blanket in the back seat of a car driven by his girlfriend, Jerilee Head. She has not been charged in the case.

White remains on the lam, said E.K. Wilson, FBI spokesman in Minneapolis, on Thursday.

Clark was scheduled to make his second appearance today in federal court in Minneapolis. He appeared Tuesday for the first time on the murder and attempted murder charges before a judge magistrate in federal court in Bemidji.

A complaint listing the charges against Clark and White was filed in late November. A grand jury handed down the indictments Tuesday after Clark was arrested, Wilson said.

According to people who knew them in Redby, the two groups of men had been feuding, a conflict that culminated Nov. 3 as they met up in two SUVs, drove a block or two, and then piled out with guns in the middle of the afternoon on a residential street.

According to the FBI agent’s affidavit, Jerrick DeMarrias said he and Julian and Spears, were driving in a blue Durango, followed by Clark and White in a black Yukon that stopped about 100 feet behind them.

Spears told an FBI agent that the three brothers intended to shoot Clark and White that day, and send them on “a helicopter ride,” meaning to a hospital with serious injuries or worse.

They all hopped out of their vehicle, Spears said, but he was the only one not holding a gun.

Jerrick said Julian got out holding a rifle, as did Clark, who fired an AR-15 rifle, meaning a semi-automatic assault-type rifle, hitting Julian several times and Jerrick with a ricochet. Jerrick said he got back into the Durango, and that Clark shot him six times with the AR-15. Spears was shot three times in the back while sitting in the vehicle, according to the FBI statement. Spears told the FBI that White appeared to stay in the passenger seat of the Yukon during the shooting.

Spears said he “heard a bunch of gunshots and that he heard his ‘homeboys’ screaming,” referring to Julian and Jerrick. Another witness told investigators that Julian had pointed his rifle at Clark’s vehicle before he got shot.

Witnesses told the Grand Fork Herald that they heard many shots and found the three brothers wounded at the scene with the back window of the Durango shot out and that Clark and White sped away in the Yukon.

One man who claimed to have been nearby during the shooting told the Herald that it appeared to him to have been a shoot-out, with shots fired from both sides. He said he was the first on the scene, found the wounded brothers and said they were wearing latex gloves, indicating they were intent on not leaving fingerprints.

Another witness told the Herald that she came to the scene after hearing the shooting and found the three brothers wounded, bleeding and shouting for help.

The three wounded brothers were taken to the hospital in nearby Red Lake, where Julian died within hours, but not before he told tribal police that Clark had shot him.

Jerrick DeMarrias was taken to a Fargo hospital and Spears to a Bemidji, Minn., hospital; they were released after several days.

Information from witnesses nearby and from the three brothers said White and Clark had an AR-15-style rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and a handgun.

The FBI said 11 expended shell casings in 7.62 mm, corresponding to an AR-15, or AK-style rifle, and five expended 12-gauge shells were found near the location where the Yukon was said to have been parked behind the Durango during the shooting.

Three guns – a World War II-era British .303 caliber, bolt-action rifle, a .410 shotgun and a .22 rifle – but no expended shells were found in or near the Durango, the FBI said. Two unfired .410 shells were found on the ground near the .410 shotgun.

According to the documents released this week, the black Yukon Clark used by Clark and White at the shooting was found Nov. 10 “abandoned in an old grave site in Redby.”

It was registered to Clark and remains impounded.

Stephen J. Lee writes for the Grand Forks Herald.