Update: Man charged in the death of Red Lake Tribal Police Officer

Red Lake Nation 072721

UPDATE – Twenty-eight-year-old David Donnell, Junior has been charged with one count of second degree murder and four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon in the shooting death of Red Lake Tribal Police Officer Ryan Bialke.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota says five officers were doing a welfare check at Donnell’s home in Redby on Tuesday when they found him on the porch. Officers tried to have Donnell walk towards them, but he ran inside. Since he had a tribal warrant and refused to come out, officers broke down the door.

Court documents say Donnell shot at officers and Officer Bialke was struck and at one point an officer returned fire.

Officers went into the woods and Bialke died at the scene.

Shortly afterwards, Donnell was arrested at a nearby home.


UPDATE – In a Facebook post, the Red Lake Police Department says 37-year-old Red Lake Tribal Police Officer Ryan Bialke died after responding to a call about a suicidal male with children possibly inside a home.

The department says the suspect fired at officers striking Bialke. The suspect fled into the woods and Bialke was taken to the Indian Health Services Hospital where he died.

Officials say the unnamed suspect was taken into custody a short time later and federal charges are pending.

Bialke was a six year veteran of the department and leaves behind a wife and four children.


RED LAKE, Minn. (KVRR) – The FBI is investigating the shooting death of a police officer early Tuesday on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

“Agents from our office are investigating a shooting that occurred early this morning on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. RLPD officers were responding to a call at a residence when a subject fired a weapon killing an officer” according to a statement from the FBI in Minneapolis.

The FBI says a suspect is in custody.  The identities of the suspect and the police officer have not been released.

“It is with heavy hearts to announce that the Red Lake Nation lost a Police Officer this morning. Chairman Seki is directing all Tribal Programs and Businesses to lower flags to half-staff throughout this week” the Red Lake Tribal Council said on social media.

“Out of respect and honor to the fallen Officer, Chairman Seki is closing all non-essential Tribal Programs today, July 27, 2021. Sincere condolences to family and friends. Prayers and strength to the Red Lake Nation during this difficult time.”

Several other law enforcement agencies are posting condolences.  The New Ulm, Minn. Police Dept. wrote “It is with heavy hearts that we have learned of a Red Lake Tribal Police Officer from the Red Lake Nation that was shot and killed this morning while on duty. Please keep the officer, their family, co-workers and entire Red Lake Nation in your thoughts.”

A statement from the Bemidji Police Dept. says “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Red Lake Police Department and all of those in the Red Lake Nation. It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of one of their officers in the line of duty today. We send our deepest condolences.”

Categories: Crime, Local News, Minnesota News