Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Dustin Allen Bilderback, age 34 of South St. Paul, pled guilty to two counts of Attempted Murder in the First Degree in connection with the shooting of two peace officers on July 19, 2018, in South St. Paul. Judge Karen Asphaug ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set the sentencing date for January 7, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. The additional two counts of Intential Attempted Murder in the Second Degree will be dismissed at the time of sentencing.
A summary of the criminal complaint reflect the following:
On July 19, 2018, officers of the South St. Paul Police Department were dispatched to a supportive housing group home to conduct a welfare check on Bilderback. Upon reaching the group home, the officers encountered Bilderback and his mental health caseworker outside the residence. Officers spoke to Bilderback and then began conferring with his case worker to determine whether to place Bilderback on a 72-hour mental health hold. While talking with the case worker, Bilderback walked to his car parked in back of the group home. One of the responding officers followed him to ensure that Bilderback did not leave the group home until a decision had been made about the 72-hour hold. Upon reaching his car, Bilderback pulled out a shotgun from the back seat. Upon seeing the shotgun, the officer turned and ran to take cover. Bilderback shot the officer, striking the officer in the left side of the officer's back, neck and arm. Bilderback continued to walk toward the officers and continued firing at them. He fired multiple shots strking a second officer in the leg. Bilderback fired his weapon a total of six times. Two of the officers returned fire, but did not hit Bilderback. The officers shouted commands to Bilderback to drop his weapon. He complied and was placed under arrest.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint, which is located online at Criminal Complaint Search. The previous news release is available at County Attorney News Releases. While in custody, a mugshot can be viewed at Inmate Search.
Backstrom commented: “We are pleased this individual has taken responsibility for these serious actions against peace officers."
Backstrom thanked the Dakota County Sheriff's Office for their thorough investigation of this shooting incident. Backstrom also extended his appreciation to the responding South St. Paul officers, Inver Grove Heights Police Department, the West St. Paul Police Department and the numerous other law enforcement agencies that responded to assist.
If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4438.