Shannon Brandt, 41, has admitted to deliberately murdering 18-year-old Caylor Ellingson in McHenry, North Dakota. According to court documents, Brandt pursued Ellingson with his car and proceeded to run him over.
Caylor called his mom during the chase asking her to come and collect him because he was being chased up and down streets and was scared. Ellingson’s mom said he called her just before the crash to ask if she knew Brandt, which she said she does.
Ellingson’s mom said she had been on her way to pick him up when he called her. However, by the time she arrived on the scene, her son was already dead.
Court documents revealed that Brandt reportedly left the scene but later returned in order to call 911. However, he left the scene before police arrived. Brandt told police he had killed a “Republican extremist” who he claimed “was threatening him.”
Brandt said he hit Ellingson with his vehicle “because he had a political argument with the pedestrian” and had thought Ellingson “was calling people to come get him.”
“Brandt was afraid they were coming to get him,” court documents say. “Brandt admitted to State Radio that he hit the pedestrian and that the pedestrian was part of a Republican extremist group.”
“[Brandt] was the one who called 911 to report the crash,” said North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind. “We are still trying to determine what, exactly, transpired at the time of crash and prior to that as well.”
“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,” Niewind said.
Brandt has since been charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident. Police say Brandt was intoxicated when he chased and hit Ellingson with his SUV in an alleyway.
“I have a job, a life and a house and things I don’t want to see go by the wayside — family that are very important to me,” Brandt told the judge.
The maximum sentence for vehicular homicide is 20 years. If convicted, Brandt will likely face a minimum of 10 years in prison due to a previous DUI.
A judge ordered Brandt held on $50,000 bail, which Brandt objected to, arguing that he wasn’t a flight risk. He has since posted bail.
A GoFundMe has been setup for Caylor Ellingson to help the family with funeral expenses “and anything to help them through this whole grieving process.” The initial goal of the GoFundMe was to raise $10,000. As of September 21, it has surpassed that goal and raised $15,795.
"*" indicates required fields