Suspect in Red Lake officer shooting charged with 5 federal counts

David Brian Donnell Jr., 28, has been charged with five federal counts following a shooting incident on Tuesday, July 27. In the incident, 37-year-old Red Lake Police Officer Ryan Bialke died on the scene.


REDBY -- David Brian Donnell Jr., the 28-year-old suspect in the July 27 shooting of Red Lake Police Officer Ryan Bialke, has been federally charged with five counts.

According to a criminal complaint, Donnell has been charged with one count for the "unlawful killing" of Bialke, 37, and four additional counts for assaulting the other responding Red Lake officers with a dangerous weapon. The charges stem from an incident that took place in Redby on Tuesday morning.

According to the criminal complaint:

On July 27, the Red Lake Police Department responded to a call for a welfare check on Donnell at his residence. Five officers arrived at the residence in three vehicles and found Donnell standing on his porch.

Before arriving, the officers had been notified that Donnell had an active tribal warrant. When officers began to approach Donnell, he went inside his house and wouldn't come back outside. Officers talked with Donnell through a window, but Donnell refused to come out. Because of the warrant, the officers decided to attempt to breach the house and take him into custody.


After Bialke kicked the front door to get in, gunfire erupted from inside the house. Bialke was struck by gunfire through the door and shots continued. One of the officers returned fire before the five retreated.

Officer Bialke died on scene, while Donnell fled on foot. Red Lake Police then received a call from an individual who lives west of Donnell's residence. The individual informed police that Donnell had arrived at their residence and they had taken away his firearm. Red Lake officers arrived and took Donnell into custody. While being taken into custody, Donnell said he "was sorry."

While being interviewed at the Red Lake Police Station, after receiving his Miranda rights, Donnell admitted to shooting at officers. Donnell also said he knew he had an outstanding warrant and did not want to be arrested.

Following the incident, Red Lake Chairman Darrell Seki Sr. directed all tribal organizations and businesses to lower their flags to half staff for the remainder of the week. Seki also ordered all non-essential tribal programs to be closed for the remainder of Tuesday.

On its Facebook page, the Red Lake Tribal Council offered its "sincere condolences to family and friends" and asked for "prayers and strength to the Red Lake Nation during this difficult time."

Bialke was a six-year veteran with the Red Lake Police Department and leaves behind a wife and four children.

In a statement Tuesday, District 2A Rep. Matt Grossell, R-Clearbrook, said "I'm devastated to learn of the Red Lake officer killed in the line of duty. I'm grateful that the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office was able to respond quickly and that the suspect has been arrested. My prayers are with the family, loved ones and colleagues of the fallen officer, and I send my condolences to the people of the Red Lake Nation."

Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach, R-MN7, also released a statement on Tuesday. Fischbach said "the killing of officer Ryan Bialke is an unbelievable tragedy and my heart is heavy over the murder of another law enforcement officer. I want to express my sincere condolences to officer Bialke's family and friends, as well as the entire Red Lake Nation community, and ask everyone to join me in keeping them in our prayers."

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