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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Red Lake Man Charged with Murder in the Shooting Death of a Red Lake Tribal Police Officer

MINNEAPOLIS – A Red Lake man has been arrested and charged with one count of second degree murder and four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon in connection to the shooting death of a Red Lake Tribal Police Officer, announced Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk.

According to court documents, on July 27, 2021, officers with the Red Lake Tribal Police Department (“RLTPD”) responded to a call to conduct a welfare check on David Brian Donnell, Jr., 28, at his residence in Redby, Minnesota. Five RLTPD officers responded to Donnell’s residence. Upon arrival, the officers found Donnell standing outside on the porch and attempted to have him walk towards the officers, but Donnell instead went inside the residence. Because Donnell had an active tribal warrant and had refused to comply, the officers breached the door. Gunfire erupted from inside the residence in the direction of the officers. Officer Ryan Bialke was struck by gunfire through the front door. Gunfire continued from inside the house towards the other four officers on the scene. At one point, an RLTPD officer returned fire. Officers then retreated into the woods to escape the continued gunfire. Officer Bialke succumbed to his injuries and died on the scene. Shortly thereafter, officers arrested Donnell at a nearby residence.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force, the Red Lake Tribal Police Department, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melinda A. Williams is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated July 28, 2021