A man has been charged for the murder of Red Lake police officer Ryan Bialke.
The perpetrator, David Brian Donnell, Jr., has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk announced. Donnell is a 28-year-old resident of Redby, Minnesota.
On July 27, officer Bialke and four others from the tribal police department responded to Donnell’s residence to conduct a welfare check. The mother of Donnell’s girlfriend called 911 and said he was suicidal.
The officers found Donnell on his porch and asked him to approach, but he went inside his home instead. Donnell had an active warrant and refused to comply with the officers so they entered his home.
Immediately, gunfire broke out in the direction of the officers. The officers retreated to the nearby woods to escape the ongoing gunfire. Bialke did not survive the shooting. Donnell was arrested soon after at another home.
Bialke was 37-years-old and is survived by his wife and four children. He was a native of Buffalo, Minnesota, and graduated from Rasmussen College.
“Ryan had a big heart and he was always laughing and smiling, and he was a great dad to our three children. He just loved helping everybody. If there was someone on the side of the road that needed help with their vehicle, he would stop and help. He was just that kind of guy,” his ex-wife, Andrea Bialke, told the Star Tribune.
A memorial fund has been started in his honor on GoFundMe.
“Officer Bialke was a six-year veteran of the Red Lake Department of Public Safety, a man who was well liked and respected in the community. He was known to always go above and beyond his call of duty and would help anyone he could in the Red Lake Nation and more,” the GoFundMe says.
Bialke is the second officer from Red Lake to die in the line of duty in the past two years. In 2019, officer Shannon Barron also died while responding to a distress call.