Charges: Suspect in South St. Paul police shooting has history of mental illness, cops identfied

Image 1 of 5

Courtesy: South St. Paul Police Department

A South St. Paul man faces four felony charges for attempted murder after firing a shotgun at two officers Thursday afternoon, hitting both and hospitalizing one. 

The officers were identified Friday afternoon as Todd Waters and Derek Druse. Waters was hospitalized after being struck in the back, neck and arm. Kruse was not hospitalized after he was shot in the leg. Officer Julie Bishop was also injured in the incident, but did not get shot. A fourth officer, Dennis Brom, did not sustain injuries, but did return fire on the suspect. 

According to the criminal complaint filed in Dakota County District Court, Dustin Allen Bilderback, 33, failed to show up for a meeting with a mental health case worker Thursday. He was on provisional discharge from Minnesota Security Hospital-St. Peter after being committed as mentally ill and dangerous by Anoka County. 

At 12:28 p.m. he was reported as a missing person and at 12:50 p.m. South St. Paul officers were dispatched to the 500 block of 12th Avenue. In between the call and the arrival of the officers, Bilderback returned. 

Police spoke with Bilderback and talked to his case worker about whether he should be put on 72-hour mental health hold. At that time, Bilderback walked to his car and pulled out a shotgun from the back seat. One officer, who followed Bilderback, ran to take cover. Bilderback fired and struck the officer in the back, neck and arm. 

The second officer arrived as Bilderback was shooting and was struck in the leg.

Bilderback fired a total of six shots, according to the complaint. He was booked into Dakota County Jail Thursday evening. Bilderback was not injured. The complaint suggests he faces up to 80 years in prison.