Burnsville police will hold a community meeting on Thursday to allow residents to voice concerns about public safety in the following a standoff at a gas station, a fatal shooting at Nina's Grill and the slaying of University of Minnesota student Anarae Schunk.
A fatal September shooting at Nina's Grill startled residents and prompted family of Minnesota student Anarae Schunk -- who was found in a roadside ditch in Lonsdale, Minn. after she was last seen with the man charged in the shooting – to ask the area to shape up.
Schunk was last seen on Sept. 22 with her ex-boyfriend, Anthony Lee Nelson (aka Shavelle Oscar Chavez-Nelson) leaving Nina's Grill in Burnsville early that morning. Nelson was charged with second-degree murder in the deadly shooting of Normandale Community College student Palagor Jobi in the bar's parking lot.
Schunk's body was found Sept. 30 in Lonsdale on 60th Street West at about 4:30 p.m., about 30 minutes from Schunk's last known location.
The county had been in the process of mowing ditches when Schunk's body in a corn row on an 80-acre field of corn. The farmer who owns the land speculated that if the ditches had not been mowed, he wouldn't have found her body until he got on his combine at the end of October.
At the Thursday meeting, Burnsville Police Chief Eric Gieseke will first address recent crimes and then discuss lingering concerns in the North River Hills area of the city.
The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and will last until 8 p.m. at Mary Mother of the Church, located at 3333 Cliff Road E.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom and Assistant Superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Drew Evans will also discuss crime trends in Dakota County and statewide, the involvement of multiple agencies in investigations and current efforts to keep the area clean.
"Burnsville is and continues to be a safe community. However, we've had some recent, senseless crimes that are both tragic and unacceptable," Gieseke said in a news release. "When our public has concerns, we have concerns as well. This community meeting is a means to have a discussion with our residents and businesses. We want to let them know what the Burnsville Police Department and its partner agencies are doing to help prevent crimes like this from occurring, and the ways these criminals are being put to justice."
The meeting is open to all members of the public.