By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A man is in custody after a tribal officer in northern Minnesota was shot and killed early Tuesday morning.

The Red Lake Department of Public Safety says Officer Ryan Bialke, 37, was shot while responding to a call about a suicidal male who may have been inside a residence with children near Redby. Officials say the shooter fled into the woods nearby, but was arrested soon after.

Bialke died from his injuries at Indian Health Service Hospital. He leaves behind a wife and four children. People living in the Red Lake Nation have shared with WCCO that Bialke was a really nice guy who was kind and funny. They say he was like a dad to many, and that he was just doing his job Tuesday.

Officer Ryan Bialke (credit: Red Lake DPS)

In a statement, Red Lake tribal officials offered condolences to his friends and family, and called for “prayers and strength to the Red Lake Nation during this difficult time.” Red Lake Tribal Council Chairman Darrell Seki ordered flags lowered to half-staff, and non-essential programs were shut down Tuesday “out of respect and honor” for the fallen officer.

Minnesota’s 7th District Rep. Michelle Fischbach said in a statement Tuesday night that Bialke’s killing is an “unbelievable tragedy.”

“I am eternally grateful to the men and women of law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” Fischbach said.

WCCO is told federal charges are expected in the next few days for the suspect. The FBI and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are assisting Red Lake police with the investigation.