Redby man federally charged in shooting death of Red Lake officer

A Redby man was charged with five federal counts for the shooting death of a Red Lake Officer.

The US Attorney’s Office says five RLPD officers responded to a welfare check on 28-year-old David Donnell, Jr., Tuesday morning.

Officers found Donnell standing outside on the porch and attempted to have him walk towards them, but he instead went inside the home.

Officers breached the door due to Donnell’s active tribal warrant and refusal to comply.

Officer Ryan Bialke was struck by gunfire through the front door, succumbing to his injuries and dying at the scene.

The four other officers, with gunfire in their direction, retreated to the woods to escape gunfire.

At one point, an officer returned fire.

Donnell was arrested shortly after at a nearby residence.

The RLPD, the FBI Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force, the BCA, the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, and US Customs and Border Protection each contributed to the investigation.

Donnell is charged with one count of second-degree murder and four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

Officer Bialke was escorted through Bemidji to the Cease Family Funeral Home Wednesday evening, passing by the Lake Bemidji Waterfront around 6:30 p.m. He leaves behind a wife and four children.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University.


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