WHITE EARTH, Minn. — After a fatal shooting at a home on the White Earth Indian Reservation last weekend, family and friends of Jamie Lee Bevins Jr. are still trying to grasp the fact that he's gone.
They are also providing more details on the shooting that took the life of the 27-year-old father, who they say was DJ'ing a graduation party that had carried on into the early morning hours of Sunday, June 9, at a home in Maple Grove Township, 20 miles north of Detroit Lakes.
Family members said Bevins, known to many by the nickname "Honker" for having a big nose as a baby, was sticking up for his younger brother who had gotten into a fight with the alleged shooter, 18-year-old Ronald Wayne Elias Thompson III.
"These guys jumped in a car ... and Honker was still going towards them," father Jamie Bevins said. "All of a sudden, gunshots rang out and my son turned around ... and fell to the ground."
Bevins' sister, Kailene Villebrun-Bevins, was at home when she heard her brother had been shot. She was able to make it to the house in 10 minutes — before police and EMTs arrived, she said.
Villebrun-Bevins said she lay next to her brother, rubbing his hair and holding his head until emergency responders arrived.
"I'm sorry I didn't make it," she remembered telling him.
As of Wednesday night, authorities continued to search for Thompson, the suspected shooter. The Becker County Sheriff's Office said in a Monday news release that the shooting is not believed to be random and that there is no threat to the public.
While buying flowers at the supermarket Wednesday for memorial services this week, Bevins' father said he came face-to-face with the shooting suspect's father, whom he knows.
"It was awkward for both of us. Neither one of us knew what to say to each other," Bevins said. "He did say he was sorry for what happened."
On the fourth day of the spirit fire honoring Jamie Bevins Jr., who left behind a 9-year-old daughter, family members shared their memories of the man they cared for.
While on fire watch Wednesday, 10-year-old Michael Dakota was busy chopping wood, something that used to be Bevins' job whenever there was a death in the family.
"He did stuff for me. I'm paying him back," Dakota said, crying for the loss of his uncle.
Villebrun-Bevins remembers her brother as a handyman who was always the "first one you call" when something needed to be taken care of.
"He was an amazing brother, a wonderful son and best dad that I've known," Villebrun-Bevins said. "It's hard that he's actually gone and we will never have him back."
A wake for Bevins was planned for Thursday, June 13, at 6 p.m. at the community center in White Earth. His funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, June 14, also at the community center.