BURNSVILLE - The brothers of Anarae Schunk are speaking out in an effort to increase safety at some Burnsville-area establishments after a murder outside Nina's Grill.
In late September, Schunk, 20, was found dead in a Lonsdale ditch after she was at Nina's Grill with her ex-boyfriend, Shavelle Chavez-Nelson. He is accused of killing Palagor Obang Jobi, 23, of Savage, outside the bar.
Police have said Schunk's death is related to that investigation, but is being treated separately. Nelson is currently in Dakota County jail facing charges for Jobi's murder, but has not been charged in Schunk's death.
Her brother, Tyson Schunk, posed questions about the safety at Nina's Grill to people at her public memorial service as well as this week to the 6,000 members of the Facebook page he started when his sister first disappeared.
"Does the local Burnsville Community value Nina's presence in the neighborhood? Would we rather have a chess club on the corner of Cliff & 13? If I started a petition asking Nina herself to either reform her business or take it elsewhere, would you sign it?" he wrote.
After hearing from hundreds of people who supported or opposed his questions, Tyson and Owen Schunk rethought the situation and decided to engage the community in a broader discussion.
"It's not just about Nina. It's more than the establishment of her, if we take and engage the community in whole with other businesses and restaurants around here," said Owen Schunk.
Burnsville Police have recently increased patrols to Nina's Grill. They acknowledged significant calls to the establishment, citing 85 police runs in the past year. Calls range from disturbances to assaults to robberies. Burnsville Police Chief Eric Gieseke also said the department has received reports of drug use in the parking lot.
"Is there anything you can do internally as a bar to draw a different type crowd in, to keep the place clean? What kind of practices can you put in place? People are suggesting things like maybe "2 for 1s" (drinks) on Friday aren't the best idea," said Schunk, who also raised concerns his underage sister was let inside the bar that night.
Gieseke says he spoke with the owner about her alcohol serving policies. He also alerted property managers to community safety concerns.
State business filing records cite the owner as Nina Kouljinski, who also goes by the name Nina Sorkin. She referred KARE 11 to her attorney, who declined to comment. The Schunks say they have reached out to her but have not heard a response.
"What differentiates humans as a species and what makes us so successful is we know how to take tragedy and turn it into something positive. I think there is an opportunity to do that here," said Tyson Schunk. "She could take that negative momentum and turn it into something positive, and I'd like to help her do that."
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