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5 suspects in Cass Lake drive-by shooting

Five people were arrested after a drive-by shooting put 16 rounds into a Spruce Lane residence near Cass Lake Sunday, which has links to the murder of a 22-year-old woman earlier that day.

The five individuals were arraigned Tuesday in Cass County District Court for the offense of aiding and abetting felony drive-by shooting of an occupied dwelling,  Cass County Attorney Christopher Strandlie reported Thursday. 

The five individuals arraigned were: Darryl Jackson Johnson, 26, Cass Lake; Shane Alan Dunn, 22, Cass Lake; Dustin Anthony Fairbanks, 22, Cass Lake; Jestina Elise Morin, 22, Cass Lake; and Johnathon Tyler Cloud, 20, Bemidji. 

According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement officials responded to a report of shots fired at a residence near Cass Lake about 8:26 a.m. Sunday. An adult male at the residence, whose identity was not released, told officers he was in his home when a green minivan with multiple occupants drove past his residence, turned around and came back. 

The man said he saw the van’s sliding door was open on the driver’s side. Next, he reported he saw an individual aim a gun toward the house and start shooting. The man said he got down on the floor until the shooting stopped. 

The investigation revealed 16 rounds struck the side of the house. Two projectiles were recovered inside the residence, the attorney’s office reported. Officers recovered multiple .22 caliber shell casings in the roadway outside the residence. 

Pike Bay Police Chief Zeb Hemsworth followed fresh tracks on the gravel road running past the house with the displaced gravel indicating a high rate of speed. Hemsworth relayed his position to other officers. A short time later, Leech Lake Tribal Police Officer Mackenhausen spotted a green minivan matching the description and called for assistance. Leech Lake Tribal Police Officer Krall arrived on the scene and assisted with the traffic stop. All five of the vehicle’s occupants placed under arrest. A .22 caliber rifle with the stock cut off, two spend .22 caliber shell casings and six unfired .22 caliber shell casings were found during a search of the vehicle. 

During the investigation, officers learned Johnson and Dunn and the green van were all observed at the scene of a 22-year-old Kandace Dunn’s homicide earlier Sunday morning.

The Cass County Attorney’s office reported at least one of the van occupants was a relative of Kandace Dunn, who was shot and killed at her residence in Cass Lake. Ross Littlewolf was charged Tuesday with second-degree intentional murder and two counts of second-degree assault for the shooting of his ex-girlfriend Kandace Dunn, the mother of his 6-month-old son. 

The man in the house, which was the subject of the drive-by shooting, was reported to be Littlewolf’s father. 

Cass County District Court Judge David Harrington set unconditional bail at $150,000 or $100,000 with conditions for Johnson. Morin, Fairbanks, and Dunn all had unconditional bail set at $25,000 with a $15,000 cash alternative. Cloud’s bail was set at $15,000 without conditions and $10,000 with conditions. 

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department, the Leech Lake Tribal Police Department, the Pike Bay Police Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehensive are all involved in the investigation, which is ongoing.