A northern Minnesota duo has been charged in connection to a robbery that turned deadly, though a third suspect who may have fired a fatal shot remains at large and unidentified.
The incident took place around 12:30 a.m. Monday about 10 miles west of Bemidji when police discovered a house fully engulfed in flames, a body inside, and a man suffering from gunshot wounds in a nearby outbuilding.
The duo charged Tuesday in Beltrami County District Court are Travis E. Gunning, 37, of Clearbrook, Minnesota, and Rebecca E. Lockman, 40, of Bemidji. Gunning has been indicted for aggravated robbery in the first degree and aiding an offender, while Lockman is charged with aiding an offender.
According to a criminal complaint, the victim who survived the shooting told police that he arrived home that night to two people in a dark, two-door car who began shooting at him, with the victim returning fire on the suspects.
Inside the burning home was the body of a man believed to be the gunshot victim's roommate. The man in the residence appeared to have been shot in the head, with the building then intentionally set ablaze, the complaint says.
While police were en route to the scene, they spotted a vehicle registered to Gunning driving away. At the scene, they located a cellphone belonging to Gunning, the complaint says. Police later located a dark, two-door car with bullet strikings at a residence in Gully, Minnesota, where Gunning was living.
Gunning and Lockman, who are in a relationship, then allegedly stole Gunning's father's SUV and picked up a witness in Fosston. The witness said Gunning had suffered a gunshot wound to the foot. Gunning allegedly told the witness that it was from a "deal gone bad," the charging document explains.
A second witness then went with Gunning and Lockman to Minot, North Dakota, telling investigators that Lockman called local authorities to help Gunning with his foot injury. Police transported him to a hospital while Lockman cleaned the blood-stained interior of the SUV at a car wash, the witness said, according to the complaint.
The Ward County Sheriff's Office later spotted the SUV, which was identified in a nationwide alert after Gunning and Lockman went missing. Gunning was arrested first at the Minot Hospital, with Lockman arrested after she arrived at the hospital to allegedly pick up Gunning and continue to flee, court documents say.
'Deal gone bad'
Gunning admitted to investigators that he was involved in the armed robbery of the victim who was found dead inside the burning home, the complaint says. But Gunning said a third suspect used his father's .22-caliber handgun to fatally shoot the man in the back of the head while Gunning was exiting the house with the victim's safe – loaded with cash – a gun and drugs.
As they exited the house, they encountered the second man, leading to the shootout, charging documents state.
Lockman then allegedly served as the getaway driver, fleeing on Jones Townhall Road. At some point, the third suspect exited the vehicle on that roadway and fled on foot, with Gunning and Lockman hiding the stolen property in the woods along the road, the complaint says.
Police located the stolen items where Gunning said they would find them.
Authorities have not identified the third suspect.