Teen Killed on Suspicion of Being ‘Republican Extremist’

The driver admitted to killing the 18-year-old over a political dispute.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Shannon Brandt, 41, called 911 in McHenry, North Dakota to report that he had hit a pedestrian with his vehicle early Sunday.
  • Local news reported that he allegedly admitted to the dispatcher that he ran down 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson of Grace City with his vehicle in an alleyway.
  • The alleged killer said he chased down the pedestrian because he “was part of a Republican extremist group and that he was afraid they were ‘coming to get him.'”
  • The teen who was at a street dance waiting for his mother to pick him up was found in the alleyway where he was struck.
  • Ellingson called his mother just before his death asking for help saying he was being pursued.
KNOWN ASSAILANT:
  • Just before the accident took place, Ellingson reportedly called his mother to ask her if she knew Brandt, according to court documents.
  • The victim’s mother reportedly told her son that she did and that she was on her way to pick him up, seeming to indicate that the assailant knew the family before the 18-year-old’s death.
  • Local news reported that Brandt is being charged with criminal vehicular homicide and a DUI with a bail set at $50,000.
BACKGROUND:
  • American Faith previously reported on President Joe Biden’s inflammatory comments about “MAGA Republicans,” calling the movement “like semi-fascism.”
  • “What we’re seeing now is the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy,” Biden reportedly said at a fundraising event. “It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the – I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism.”