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ND Man Accused of Killing Teen with SUV Described Victim as a 'Republican Extremist'

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A North Dakota man who allegedly killed a teenager early Sunday morning by hitting him with his vehicle, reportedly told police the teen was a "Republican extremist."

Shannon Brandt, 41, was charged Monday with criminal vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a deadly accident in the killing of 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson, according to Inforum.  The incident happened in McHenry, ND, located about two hours northwest of Fargo following a reported street dance. 

"He was the one who called 911 to report the crash," North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind, told the outlet. Law enforcement authorities said the suspect was allegedly drunk when he hit and killed Ellingson with his SUV in an alleyway. 

Court documents reveal Brandt called 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher he just hit Ellingson, claiming the teen was part of a Republican extremist group. He claimed the teen was calling people to come and attack him after a political argument, Inforum reported. 

Ellingson was later pronounced dead at a Carrington hospital. Meanwhile, Brandt fled the scene and was arrested at his home in Glenfield, according to KVRR-TV.  

"We are still trying to determine what, exactly, transpired at the time of crash and prior to that as well," explained Capt. Niewind. "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."

Brandt was released from the Statesman County Jail, posting a $50,000 bond according to The Daily Wire. He is facing 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted of the current charges. 

Authorities said as their investigation continues, more charges could be recommended to prosecutors. 

Brandt is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 11. 

A GoFundMe page was created by a friend to help Ellingson's family pay for their son's funeral expenses. A goal of $10,000 was set.  By Tuesday, the page had raised $19,660. 

Nicole Clifton Geiszler, the page's organizer, posted a "Thank You" note to all who donated. 

"We have surpassed the goal I set and you all made this possible and I can't thank you enough for your generosity!!!!! Thank You Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!" Geiszler wrote. 

Many conservatives pointed out the teenager's murder comes only two weeks after President Joe Biden gave a prime-time address outside of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA, in which he called MAGA Republicans "semi-fascists."

Sen. Tex Cruz (R-Texas) retweeted the North Dakota Highway Patrol report of Brandt's arrest, and called out anti-conservative rhetoric, especially President Biden's Philadelphia speech, pointing out the ominous red lighting. 

"Extreme Dem rhetoric is once again inciting deadly violence. When Biden, bathed in red light, calls half of America 'fascists,' tragically, deranged Leftists are listening," Cruz wrote. 

"Cayler Ellingson was murdered by a left-wing extremist in North Dakota," Jack Posobiec tweeted. "He was run over for being a Republican."

One user called out the establishment news media for their failure to report the crime, writing: "Will the national corporate media report about this teen being killed by an adult because the adult thought the boy was a 'Republican extremist'?"

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of