Redby man charged with murder in fatal shooting of Red Lake Nation police officer

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A Redby, Minn., man faces a federal murder charge in the shooting death Tuesday of a Red Lake Nation police officer.

David Brian Donnell Jr., 28, was charged Wednesday in U.S. District Court with second-degree murder and four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon in the death of 37-year-old Ryan Bialke, who had served on the Red Lake police force since 2014.

According to the complaint, Donnell shot and killed Bialke after the officer kicked in Donnell's front door Tuesday morning. Bialke and four other officers were serving a tribal warrant and decided to breach the door when Donnell would not come out of his house.

Red Lake police were called to the house after receiving a call after Donnell's girlfriend told a family member that he was suicidal, the complaint said. Five officers went to his home near Redby, a community of about 1,300 people on the south shore of Lower Red Lake some 280 miles northwest of the Twin Cities.

According to the complaint:

While en route to Donnell's house, officers learned that he had an active tribal warrant against him. When they arrived at his home, they found him standing on the porch.

Donnell went into the house and wouldn't come out. Officers talked to him through a window but couldn't persuade him to leave the home.

"Because Donnell had an active warrant and had refused to comply with their instructions to enter the residence, the officers decided to breach the door," the complaint says. Bialke kicked in the door and gunfire erupted from inside the house, hitting Bialke, who died at the scene.

Donnell continued to shoot at the other officers, one of whom returned fire, the complaint says. Donnell then ran into some nearby woods.

Soon after, police got a call from a neighbor who said that Donnell was at her house and that she had taken a rifle from him. Police arrested him with no further incident.

During his arrest, the complaint says, Donnell told officers that he was sorry.

John Reinan • 612-673-7402

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