Man charged in connection to shooting of South St. Paul officers pleads guilty

Dustin Allen Bilderback Photo: Dakota County
Dustin Allen Bilderback

Updated: October 14, 2019 03:05 PM

A man who was charged in connection to the shooting of two South St. Paul police officers pleaded guilty Monday in Dakota County. 

Court records show Dustin Allen Bilderback pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree attempted murder. 


The two officers shot during the July 19, 2018, incident suffered injuries that were not life-threatening. 

According to a criminal complaint, Bilderback was on provisional discharge from the St. Peter Security Hospital after having been committed as mentally ill and dangerous out of Anoka County.

A mental health caseworker was supposed to meet with him at the residential facility where he lived on the morning of July 19. But Bilderback was late for the appointment, so staff there conducted a health and safety check of his unit. In doing so, they reportedly noticed items missing that were of importance to him.

Suspect in shooting of South St. Paul officers charged with 4 counts of attempted murder

The complaint states staff reported him as a missing person, however, he returned to the facility shortly thereafter.

The complaint said Bilderback allegedly met with a case worker in the group home office, voicing concern about returning to the hospital or police coming to get him. He reportedly said he wanted a cigarette and both he and the case worker exited the building. Once outside, they reportedly encountered three South St. Paul police officers, who had just arrived on the scene.

According to the complaint, the officers began conferring with the case worker on whether Bilderback should be placed on a 72-hour mental hold. While that discussion was in progress, Bilderback allegedly walked to the back of the group home where his car was parked.

2 officers injured in South St. Paul shooting, suspect in custody

Upon reaching the car, the complaint alleges he pulled a shotgun from the back seat. He then reportedly began firing, striking one officer in the back, neck and arm. Another officer was struck in the leg.

The complaint alleges he fired his weapon six times in all. Officers returned fire, but did not strike him. The complaint alleges officers commanded him to drop his weapon, and he complied and was placed under arrest.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

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