DULUTH — Two people are facing attempted murder charges after a Dec. 29 Duluth shooting that investigators said is linked to a November homicide in the Bemidji area.
Alexia Gah Gi Gay Mary Cutbank, 19, of Duluth, and Seneca Warrior Steeprock, 39, of Savage, are accused of ambushing and shooting Cameron Maurice Jones at least eight times in an apartment near Lake Avenue and West Fourth Street.
A criminal complaint indicates that Cutbank is the sister of Montana Oshki-Ayaabe Cutbank, a 21-year-old Cass Lake man charged with fatally shooting another man Nov. 24 in Beltrami County.
The victim in that case was 29-year-old Charles "Chucky" Kingbird. But according to court documents filed this week, Jones and Montana Cutbank have a "contentious history," and Jones' family believes he — not Kingbird — was the intended victim of that shooting.
Jones, 20, of Cass Lake, was hospitalized in critical condition and still had several bullets lodged in his body as of Tuesday, according to the complaint filed in State District Court in Duluth.
Cutbank and Steeprock were arraigned on charges of attempted premeditated first-degree murder and being felons in possession of firearms. Judge Theresa Neo set bail for each at $200,000.
According to the complaints:
Duluth police Sgt. Mike LaFontaine was on patrol around 2:40 p.m. when he saw a woman dragging a man along a sidewalk. LaFontaine approached them and learned the man, Jones, had been shot.
Jones was unable to provide any information, but police ascertained that the incident had occurred inside an upper apartment at 1 W. Fourth St. The woman later stated that the suspects had entered through a side door and that it sounded as though multiple guns were fired. She said Jones received a call immediately beforehand and seemed to know the perpetrators.
Hospital staff stated that the victim had been shot approximately eight or nine times. Two bullets had been removed from his body, but others were not deemed safe to remove. Another bullet was recovered from Jones' clothing, while officers found 14 casings in the apartment and several bullets lodged in the floor and walls of a bedroom.
Police said they determined Jones arrived in Duluth on Dec. 27 and had made contact with a relative and with Cutbank — something that had concerned Jones' family. Relatives reportedly told police that they believed Montana Cutbank had attempted to kill Jones during a meeting in November, but Kingbird went in his place and was executed.
Montana Cutbank, 21, is currently in the Beltrami County Jail, charged with intentional second-degree murder in Kingbird's death. Investigators at the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force confirmed to Duluth police that the suspect is rumored to have "an issue" with Jones.
Investigators reviewed a jail call from approximately 1 p.m. Dec. 29 in which Alexia Cutbank could be heard telling her brother that she "is going to set someone up and knows where he is at." That was less than two hours before Jones was shot.
In subsequent calls, the siblings appeared to be speaking cryptically, with Alexia Cutbank stating that "she took care of that thing," and mentioning that Steeprock was present. Montana Cutbank then placed a call to another woman, asking her to check on an obituary for Jones.
Police discovered that Alexia Cutbank had been staying with that woman at the Gateway Tower Apartments in downtown Duluth. Investigators found Jones' car parked there and observed Cutbank and Steeprock approaching it. Cutbank was arrested without incident, while Steeprock fled on foot and was taken into custody a short distance away.
Officers found a 9-mm handgun in Cutbank's purse, matching the casings found at the shooting scene. Two pistol holders were also discovered in the apartment. A K-9 search uncovered another firearm buried in the snow near the Depot, where Steeprock was arrested. It was loaded and also matched the caliber.
Cutbank had a prior adjudication for simple robbery, making her ineligible to possess a firearm, along with convictions that include fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle. Steeprock has an extensive history of assault convictions and is also prohibited from having guns.
Both are scheduled to be back in court Jan. 28.