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Minn. man sentenced to 37 years in killing of tribal police officer

The suspect opened fire on officers after they attempted to arrest him for an active warrant in 2021, killing Officer Ryan Bialke


Photo/Officer Down Memorial Page

Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota man was sentenced Tuesday to 37 years in prison for the shooting death of a tribal police officer.

David Brian Donnell Jr., 30, pleaded guilty in April to second-degree murder in the killing of 37-year-old Officer Ryan Bialke.

On July 27, 2021, five officers with the Red Lake Tribal Police Department went to Donnell’s home in Redby to conduct a welfare check. When officers arrived, Donnell, who was on the porch, went inside the home.

Because Donnell had an active tribal warrant and was refusing to comply with orders, officers breached the door. Donnell opened fire and Bialke was struck by gunfire, prosecutors said.

Donnell continued firing and one officer returned fire as the four remaining officers fled into nearby woods. He fired at least 22 rounds from his rifle, prosecutors said.

Bialke died at the scene. Donnell fled but was arrested soon after at a nearby home.

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.

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