Officers Injured in South St. Paul Shooting Identified

July 20, 2018 10:39 PM

The South St. Paul Police Department identified the officers involved in an incident Thursday afternoon that led to two officers being shot. 

According to the department, Officer Todd Waters and Officer Derek Kruse were injured by gunfire while responding to a call at a residential living facility. A South St. Paul City Council member said Waters was shot in the shoulder. 


Dustin Allen Bilderback, who is accused of shooting the two officers, was charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder and two counts of second-degree attempted murder. 

RELATED: Suspect in Shooting of South St. Paul Officers Charged With 4 Counts of Attempted Murder

South St. Paul Police Chief William Messerich said Thursday night that both officers are at home recovering. 

The department said Officer Julie Bishop was also injured, but not from gunfire. 

The department also said Officer Dennis Brom and Kruse returned fire during the encounter with Bilderback. 

Incident Background

The residential living facility at which Bilderback was residing said he became upset when he learned the facility was terminating his lease and independent living services.

In a lengthy statement released Friday, Everyday Living, which describes itself on its website as a facility meant to help in "moving individuals facing mental illness toward a healthier and more productive life," said Bilderback allegedly kept a hidden firearm in the trunk of his car, which he used to begin shooting as police arrived.

RELATED: Suspect in Shooting Involving South St. Paul Officers to Make Court Appearance 

A criminal complaint says 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 case worker was supposed to meet with him at the facility Thursday morning. 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.

The complaint states staff reported him as a missing person around 12:28 p.m. Thursday. But 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.

RELATED: 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.


Ben Rodgers

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