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Red Lake man indicted for first-degree murder in police officer's killing

He's accused of killing officer Ryan Bialke on July 27.
Officer Ryan Bialke.

Officer Ryan Bialke.

A 28-year-old Red Lake man has been indicted for first-degree murder in the death of Red Lake Tribal Police officer Ryan Bialke. 

A federal grand jury has returned an 11-count indictment against David Brian Donnell Jr., who is accused of fatally shooting Bialke, a father of four, at his home in Redby on July 27, the U.S. Attorney's Office of Minnesota said in a news release Thursday.

According to prosecutors, Donnell opened fire on five Red Lake Tribal Police officers who went to his home to do a welfare check after it was reported he was armed and suicidal. 

When police arrived, Donnell was standing on his porch and officers attempted to have him walk toward them, but Donnell instead went inside, court documents said.

Because he had an active warrant and refused to come out, the officers decided to "breach the door" in an attempt to take him into custody, the U.S. Attorney's Office says, citing court documents. Bialke kicked the door in an attempt to enter, at which point Donnell "opened fire" on the officers, killing Bialke.

Donnell continued shooting "several rounds" from an Izhmash Saiga .762 caliber rifle at the four other officers, the release alleges. One officer returned fire, allowing the officers to escape to the woods. 

Prosecutors allege Donnell continued to fire at them as they fled, and then he left the scene with his rifle. He was arrested at a nearby residence a short time later. 

Donnell admitted in an interview with law enforcement to shooting at the officers, prosecutors say. After searching his residence, officers found several shell casings and bullet holes.

Donnell was initially charged with second-degree murder and four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

The charges against him have been upgraded following the grand jury's indictment. He is now charged with first-degree murder, four counts of assault with intent to commit murder, four counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of discharging, carrying, and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and one count of possessing firearms as an unlawful controlled substance user.

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