CARRINGTON, N.D. — During its homecoming game, the North Dakota high school where Cayler Ellingson recently graduated held a moment of silence in remembrance of the 18-year-old who was killed on Sunday after a political argument.
The moment of silence was held during Carrington High School’s homecoming football game on Friday night. Ellingson graduated from the high school in 2022.
Ellingson was killed early Sunday morning in McHenry, North Dakota after Shannon Brandt, 41, allegedly admitted to using his SUV to hit Ellingson, who later died at a local hospital.
According to an affidavit, Brandt told the state first responders’ radio that he struck the pedestrian with an SUV because the “pedestrian was threatening him,” adding that he thought Ellingson was part of a “Republican extremist group.”
“Brandt stated that the pedestrian called some people and Brandt was afraid they were coming to get him,” the court document states. “Brandt admitted to State Radio that he hit the pedestrian and that the pedestrian was part of a Republican extremist group.”
North Dakota Highway Patrol Captain Bryan Niewind told Fox News Digital on Thursday that there was “no evidence” supporting that claim.
“There is no evidence to support the claim Brandt made about Ellingson,” Niewind said. “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 as currently charged or if additional charges will be brought against him.”
Brandt was charged with criminal vehicular homicide, as well as leaving the scene of a crash involving a death after the incident. He was being held in the Stutsman County Jail until Tuesday, when he posted a $ 50,000 bond and was released.
The incident happened after a “street dance,” and court documents state that Brandt initially fled the incident, only to later return and call 911 to report what happened.
The 18-year-old’s parents told police they knew Brandt, but said their son didn’t.
Police also went to Brandt’s residence in Glenfield where he talked to officers and “admitted to consuming alcohol prior to the incident,” the affidavit states.
Brandt’s blood-alcohol level was 0.08, a breathalyzer test later showed, according to the affidavit.
Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones and Louis Casiano contributed to this report.