A North Dakota law enforcement officer said there was no evidence that the teenager who was fatally mowed down over a “political argument” was a member of a “Republican extremist group,” according to a report.
Shannon Brandt, 41, told police he hit Cayler Ellingson, 18, with his SUV during a street party in the small city of McHenry early Sunday morning and fled the scene because the teen had threatened him. Ellingson was taken to a hospital and later died.
Brandt also claimed to police that Ellingson said he was a member of an unnamed right-wing extremist group.
But North Dakota Highway Patrol Captain Bryan Niewind told Fox News Digital on Thursday that “there is no evidence to support the claim Brandt made” about Ellingson being in any such group.
“This remains an active investigation and as evidence is gathered and reviewed, we will consult with the Foster County State’s Attorney to determine if Brandt’s current charges will remain … or if additional charges will be brought against him,” said Niewind.
After the crash, Brandt reportedly told police he had been drinking and was found to have a blood alcohol level of .08, the legal limit. He was freed on a $50,000 bond after being charged with criminal vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a crash involving death, the outlet said.
Brandt also told police he attacked Ellingson because “he had a political argument with” him and believed the teen “was calling people to come get him,” according to court documents obtained by Fox Digital.
Ellingson had called his mother twice during the incident; the first time to ask if she knew who Brandt was, and the second time to warn that “he” or “they” were chasing him, the documents reportedly said.
The parents of the teenage victim told police that they were acquainted with Brandt but didn’t believe that Cayler had met him before the fatal encounter.