On Sunday, 41-year-old Shannon Brandt allegedly ran over 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson with his car following a political dispute in McHenry, North Dakota.
Brandt was officially charged Monday with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a deadly accident.
After being charged, court documents allege Brandt admitted that his actions were politically motivated.
According to InForum, Ellingson had been participating in a street dance Saturday night, and when it wrapped up, he noticed that Brandt was following him.
Ellingson reportedly called his mother for help, but it was too late.
Moments later, Brandt slammed into him with his car in an alleyway, killing the teen.
Shannon Brandt admits to killing teen after political dispute, court docs allege. Brandt told State Radio that the pedestrian was part of a Republican extremist group and that he was afraid they were “coming to get him.”https://t.co/nGZ78tsOuv
— Harrison 🐳 (@HarrisonKrank) September 20, 2022
41-year-old Shannon Brandt admitted to consuming alcohol before the incident and stated he hit 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson with his car because he had a political argument with him. Ellingson was pronounced dead at a Carrington hospital. https://t.co/gAJTA1z95T
— KMOT (@KMOT_TV) September 20, 2022
According to court papers, it was not an accident but apparently a politically motivated attack.
The fatal vehicle-pedestrian incident happened early Sunday morning, Sept. 18, in McHenry, North Dakota, about 120 miles northwest of Fargo and 54 miles north of Jamestown.
Prosecutors allege moments before he was killed, 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson called his mom to come rescue him because 41-year-old Shannon Brandt was chasing him in the city of McHenry, where the street dance had just wrapped up.
Police say Brandt was drunk when he hit and killed Ellingson with his SUV in an alleyway.
“We do not know of any witnesses. We are still making attempts to interview potential witnesses from the street dance, people that were present prior to the crash happening,” said North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind.
Court documents say at 2:35 Sunday morning, 41-year-old Shannon Brandt called 911 to report that he had hit a pedestrian because he was threatening him. Brandt told State Radio that the pedestrian was part of a Republican extremist group and that he was afraid they were “coming to get him.” The pedestrian has been identified in a GoFundMe page as 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson.
After visiting the scene where the incident happened, deputies went to Brandt’s house in Glenfield, ND, which is about 12 minutes from the crash scene. Brandt admitted to consuming alcohol before the incident, and stated he hit Ellingson with his car because he had a political argument with him. Brandt also admitted to deputies that he initially left the crash scene, then returned to call 911, but left again before deputies could arrive.
Court documents say just before the crash, Ellingson called his mom and asked if they knew who Brandt was. She said yes, and told her son she was on her way to pick him up. A short time later, court documents say Ellingson called his mom again to say that “he” or “they” were chasing him. It was after the second call that Ellingson could not be reached again.
Ellingson was pronounced dead at a Carrington Hospital. Brandt has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide and DUI. Court records show a judge set bail at $50,000.