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A man murdered a teenager in North Dakota because of his conservative political beliefs last Sunday, September 28th.
Around 2:30 a.m., shooter Shannon Brandt, 41, called 911 to report that he had hit a young man with his vehicle who he said belonged to a “Republican extremist group.”
The victim, an 18-year-old boy named Cayler Ellingson, called his mother moments before he was killed, asking her to pick him up after leaving a street party because a man was chasing him. When the mother arrived at the scene, Brandt had already murdered Ellingson leaving the scene.
Brandt was charged the following Monday with vehicular homicide, with the aggravating factor of fleeing after a fatal hit-and-run. If convicted, he would face a minimum of ten years in prison.
According to a report by local ABC station WDAY, police sources say Brandt was intoxicated when he hit Ellingson with his pickup truck.
“We are still trying to determine what, exactly, transpired at the time of crash and prior to that as well” North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind said. “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.”
Police do not rule out more serious charges being added to the indictment as the investigation progresses.
According to court reports cited by the local media, Brandt admitted that the murder had been “politically motivated.” This came a week after President Joe Biden’s speech in Philadelphia, in which he referred to Republican Trump supporters as “extremists.”