MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Authorities say a man who fired a gun at two South St. Paul police officers on Thursday was angry over his lease being terminated at an apartment for people battling mental illness.
Officials with Everyday Living, where Dustin Allen Bilderback was staying, say he became aggressive and dangerous when he learned they were terminating his lease and independent living services. Bilderback had violated the terms of probationary discharge to the facility after it was learned he kept a hidden firearm in the trunk of his car.READ MORE: Alec Baldwin Fired Prop Gun That Killed Cinematographer, Injured Director On Movie Set (CBS News)
He started shooting when authorities arrived Thursday afternoon, responding to a missing person’s report for Bilderback.
Officials with Everyday Living say all staff members and tenants who witnessed Wednesday’s incident are safe. They are providing grief and trauma counseling to anyone who needs it. Officials released this statement:
Our thoughts are with the officers who were injured and their families and we’re hopeful for their fast recovery. We express our sincere appreciation for all of the officers and emergency professionals who quickly responded to our 911 call. Our thoughts and concerns are also with the community, and we know that our neighbors expect to live in a safe neighborhood. We are conducting an internal investigation to assure that we are doing everything possible and permissible under the scope of our independent service license to keep our tenants, staff and our neighbor’s safe. Everyday Living knows that we can be effective in helping people in need to improve their lives. We reaffirm that commitment to those whom we support.
Bilderback was charged Friday with four counts of attempted murder, two involving a peace officer, in connection with the incident.READ MORE: 'We Will Not Tolerate Sexual Misconduct In Any Form': Minnesota Colleges Investigating Alleged Sex Competition
The complaint states a mental health case worker was scheduled to meet with Bilderback at 11 a.m. Thursday at Everyday Living, but he was late. Staff there conducted a health and safety check of his unit. He was reported as a missing person at 12:28 p.m., but he returned a short time later.
The complaint states officers spoke with Bilderback and his case worker about putting him on a 72-hour mental health hold. While officers spoke with the case worker, Bilderback walked to the back of the group home where his car was, and pulled a shotgun out of the back seat. One officer saw him, and ran for cover. Bilderback fired his shotgun, hitting the officer in the left back, neck and arm.
Another officer arrived on scene, and Bilderback walked towards officers continuing firing gunshots. He hit a second officer in the leg, and fired his gun six times. Two officers returned fire, but didn’t hit him. Bilderback was ordered to drop his weapon, complied and was arrested.
The South St. Paul Police Department said Friday four officers were involved in the incident.
They were identified as Officer Dennis Brom, an 18-year veteran; Officer Julie Bishop, a 17-year veteran; Officer Todd Waters, an 11-year veteran and Officer Derek Kruse, a six-year veteran. Waters and Kruse were hit by gunfire, while Officer Bishop suffered unrelated injuries.
Officers Brom and Kruse returned fire on Bilderback after being shot at.MORE NEWS: 3 People Shot In Separate Minneapolis Shootings Thursday Night
Bilderback could face a maximum of 80 years in prison if convicted.