The man charged with fatally hitting and running over a North Dakota teen justified the act by echoing the same “extremism” rhetoric President Joe Biden wielded against Republicans during his most recent address.
Shannon Brandt, 41, mowed down 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson early Sunday morning over what he later claimed was a “political argument” over whether “the teen was part of a Republican extremist group.” That language strongly resembles the description used by Biden just a few weeks ago to describe Trump and “MAGA Republicans” as being “a threat to the very soul of this country.” In that speech, Biden claimed it was Republicans who had “blind loyalty to a single leader and a willingness to engage in political violence”
Ellingson was reportedly participating in a street dance before the incident occurred. According to court documents obtained by Valley News Live, Ellingson called his mom shortly before the crash to ask if she knew who Brandt was. His mother confirmed she did and told Ellingson she was on the way to pick him up. In a second call, Ellingson told his mom Brandt was chasing him.
North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind confirmed Brandt was the one “who called 911 to report the crash” around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, but that didn’t stop Brandt from abandoning the scene before officers arrived. Law enforcement confronted and arrested Brandt at his home where he admitted to attacking Ellingson based on political motivations and leaving the scene where Ellingson lay dying.
“We are still trying to determine what, exactly, transpired at the time of the crash and prior to that as well,” Niewind said. As of Monday night, law enforcement was unaware of any witnesses.
Brandt, who also admitted to drinking before the incident, was charged on Monday with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. He is being held on a $50,000 bail. If convicted, Brandt could face a minimum of 10 years in prison.
Despite recently claiming that combatting political violence and domestic extremism is a top priority for the agency, the FBI avoided answering The Federalist’s questions about whether it plans to investigate the motives for the alleged homicide. Instead, the FBI suggested The Federalist contact “local authorities” for more information about the crime.
As of Tuesday night, corporate media outlets, which amplified Biden’s shaming of MAGA Republicans, had not covered the killing.
This article was updated on Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. to reflect the FBI’s response to The Federalist’s request for comment.