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Man indicted for murder in death of Minnesota tribal officer

October 7, 2021 GMT

RED LAKE, Minn. (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted a Minnesota man on charges of murder and other counts in the July killing of a Red Lake tribal officer who was fatally shot while responding to a call on the tribe’s reservation.

David Donnell Jr., 28, was indicted on 11 counts, including first-degree murder and multiple counts of assault with intent to murder, prosecutors announced Thursday. He had previously been charged in federal court with a lesser murder count in connection with the death of Officer Ryan Bialke.

Bialke was killed on July 27 after he and four other officers went to Donnell’s home in Redby on a report of a suicidal male with children possibly in the residence, according to the Red Lake Department of Public Safety. Federal authorities say Donnell was standing on the porch when officers arrived, then went inside the house.


Because Donnell refused to comply with orders from the officers and had an active warrant, police broke down the front door, Department of Justice officials said. That’s when Donnell began firing. Bialke, 37, was struck by gunfire and died at the scene, officials said. Court documents say one officer returned fire and Donnell kept shooting as officers escaped into the woods.

Donnell fled and was taken into custody at a nearby residence a short time later, authorities said.

Donnell’s attorneys declined to comment Thursday on the indictment.

The tribe has said Bialke was a six-year veteran of the Red Lake Police Department. He is survived by his wife and four children.

Bialke is identified on the Red Lake Nation website as a conservation enforcement officer, and was one of 38 sworn law enforcement officers serving Red Lake.

The Red Lake Reservation is in northwest Minnesota, about 160 miles (257 kilometers) from the Canadian border. It covers about 1,260 square miles (3,263 square kilometers) and is home to about half of the tribe’s 14,000 members.