Missing Burnsville woman last seen with suspected gunman in bar shooting
A series of events that started with a fatal shooting outside a Burnsville bar and grill early Sunday, Sept. 22, now includes a missing-person case involving a 20-year-old woman.
Anarae Kristine Schunk, a Burnsville High School graduate and University of Minnesota student, was last seen with the alleged gunman outside the bar around the time of the shooting, according to police.
After getting a missing-person report on Schunk the evening of Sept. 23, police worked backward to identify the suspect in the shooting, which occurred around closing time in the parking lot of Nina’s Grill, 2510 Horizon Drive, Burnsville police Sgt. Rory Bochniak said.
The suspect, 31-year-old Shavelle Oscar Chavez-Nelson, was arrested in Rosemount Sept. 24. Schunk is a former girlfriend of his, her older brother Owen Schunk said.
Killed in the shooting was 23-year-old Palagor Obang Jobi. The incident started with an altercation between the two men, Bochniak said.
Surveillance video from around the time of the shooting captured Chavez-Nelson and Schunk together outside the northeast Burnsville bar, Bochniak said. It’s unclear whether they left together, he said. Schunk was still missing Wednesday and is not a suspect in the homicide.
“Our investigators are searching several areas in the south metro,” Bochniak said Wednesday morning. “We’re not giving those locations out. But we are actively searching as we speak.”
Police are also looking for a car they believe Chavez-Nelson drove from the bar in. It’s a 1983 Buick LeSabre Limited, with license plate 662 EWR, Bochniak said.
Police have pressed Chavez-Nelson, who is being held in the Dakota County Jail, for information on Schunk.
“We’d like to be optimistic and say that she’s just hiding from him,” Bochniak said. “We don’t know.”
According to state records, Chavez-Nelson has a criminal history in Hennepin County that includes convictions for aggravated robbery, illegally possessing a firearm, theft and a controlled-substance crime. He was convicted in Dakota County of giving a false name to police.
According to Owen Schunk, Chavez-Nelson also has a history of crime and incarceration in California. He has legally changed his name from Anthony Lee Nelson to Shavelle Oscar Chavez-Nelson, Bochniak said.
Charges in the shooting were expected by noon Thursday, he said, after this edition went to press.
a ‘big-hearted person’
Schunk, the daughter of Monty and Mariana Schunk of Burnsville, dated Chavez-Nelson last year for about four to six months, her brother said.
“Our family and friends were not too fond of this gentleman,” said Owen Schunk, of Apple Valley.
But Anarae, a 2010 Burnsville High School graduate with excellent grades in both high school and college, saw something in Chavez-Nelson. He had been released from incarceration when they met and told her he wanted to rejoin society, Owen said.
“As bright as she is academically and from a cerebral standpoint, she’s a very big-hearted person,” he said. “She cares about people. … She saw him as somebody that she could participate in the growth and assistance of.”
Anarae broke off the relationship around Thanksgiving of last year, Owen said: “She was very distraught.”
On Aug. 24 Anarae moved from her parents’ home in Burnsville to a Minneapolis apartment near the U of M campus, Owen said. In recent weeks she apparently re-established contact with Chavez-Nelson and arranged to meet him on Sept. 21.
“She was looking to meet him to get something from him from when they were together, whether it was an object, whether it was money, something of sentiment,” he said. “We really don’t know what it was.”
Anarae was seen at around 2:30 p.m. that day at the Caribou Coffee at Highway 13 and Cliff Road, which is near Nina’s Grill. She frequented the coffee shop, where she often tutored and mentored younger students in math, science and chess, Owen said.
Her last known sighting was with Chavez-Nelson on the Nina’s surveillance tape.
“As far as anybody knows, he is the last person to be in contact with her,” Owen said.
Her parents grew concerned when Anarae had been out of contact for more than 48 hours, he said. She hadn’t shown up for her Sept. 22 and 23 shifts at Don Pablo’s on 78th Street in Richfield, where she works, and she wasn’t responding to phone calls, emails, text messages or Facebook messages, Owen said.
“If you were to call her cell phone, it’s straight to voice mail,” he said. Anarae, a third-year student set to graduate this year on an accelerated program, also hadn’t been seen by friends, roommates and classmates, he said.
Her family and friends posted fliers with her picture at locations in Burnsville, Eagan, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Rosemount, Minneapolis and Bloomington, Owen said.
Anarae is white and has green eyes and brownish-blonde hair. She’s about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 165 pounds. She was last seen wearing a white, zip-up jacket with a University of Minnesota logo on the chest.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Burnsville police tip line at 952-895-4636 or 911.