Man sentenced to 37 years in prison for killing tribal police officer

January 11, 2023

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Red Lake, 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.