Court papers indicate that 41-year-old Shannon Brandt killed 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson over a political disagreement. Following the disagreement at a street dance in McHenry, North Dakota, Ellington called his mother in an attempt to be rescued from Shannon Brandt. Brandt was chasing Ellington through the streets with his car, and upon hitting Ellington, Brandt called 911, where he admitted that hitting Ellington with his car apparently wasn’t an accident, and what appears to be a killing following a political dispute. Brandt is being charged with vehicular manslaughter.
According to inforum.com:
Brandt was officially charged Monday with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a deadly accident. “He was the one who called 911 to report the crash,” said North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind. Court papers show Brandt called 911 around 2:30 a.m. Sunday and told the 911 dispatcher that he just hit Ellingson, claiming the teen was part of a Republican extremist group and was calling people to come get Brandt after a political argument.
Ellingson’s mom told police her son called her just before the crash, asking if she knew Brandt, which she does. She does not believe her son knew him. “We are still trying to determine what, exactly, transpired at the time of crash and prior to that as well,” explained Niewind.
Police say Brandt was drunk when he hit and killed Ellingson with his SUV in an alleyway.
“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. A judge ordered Brandt held on $50,000, which he objected, saying he’s not a flight risk. “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. If convicted on the vehicular homicide charge, Brandt would face a minimum of 10 years in prison because of a DUI on his record.
The maximum for the crime is 20 years. Troopers say as the investigation develops, they could recommend more serious charges.
A gofundme has been set up to help pay for Ellingson’s funeral expenses.
Sadly, this story has not made many major news publications, similar to those that were violent during the BLM riots in 2020. A drunk 41-year-old political extremist killed an 18-year-old by chasing the highschool aged student down with his car due to a political disagreement – if the roles were reversed politically, then Ellington would be a martyr, not pushed to the back of the news cycle. Hopefully, more details come out and the police are able to change Brandt with a more serious charge than vehicular manslaughter, where he would face a minimum of 10 years in prison due to his previous DUI.