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Red Lake man indicted on first-degree murder charge in fatal shooting of tribal police officer

A federal grand jury returned an 11-count indictment against a Red Lake man for fatally shooting a Red Lake Tribal Police Officer, assaulting with intent to murder four other officers and firearms violations.

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RED LAKE, Minn. — A federal grand jury returned an 11-count indictment against a Red Lake man for fatally shooting a Red Lake Tribal Police Officer, assaulting with intent to murder four other officers and firearms violations.

According to court documents, on July 27 five officers with the Red Lake Tribal Police Department responded to a call to conduct a welfare check on an armed man, David Donnell Jr., 28, at his residence in Redby.

Upon arrival, officers found Donnell standing outside on the porch and attempted to have him walk toward the officers, but Donnell instead went inside the residence. Because Donnell had an active tribal warrant and was refusing to comply, the officers made the decision to breach the door, documents said.

As soon as the door was breached, Donnell opened fire on the officers, according to court documents. Officer Ryan Bialke was immediately struck by gunfire through the front door and fell. Donnell continued shooting, firing several rounds from an Izhmash Saiga 7.62 caliber rifle at the four other officers on the scene.

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One officer returned fire to allow the officers to escape into the woods. Donnell continued firing at the officers as they fled into the woods. Officer Bialke succumbed to his injuries and died on the scene. Donnell then fled the scene, taking the rifle with him. Shortly after, officers arrested Donnell at a nearby residence, according to the documents.

Donnell has been charged with one count of 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.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force, the Red Lake Tribal Police Department, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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