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Driver Admits to Intentionally Running Over Teen, Claims He Was ‘Republican Extremist’

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


An 18-year-old young man, Cayler Ellingson, was struck and killed by a car in McHenry, North Dakota in an act of political violence the likes of which President Joe Biden has warned everyone about.

But unlike what the president has warned us about, it was not a “MAGA Republican” who murdered this teenager in cold blood. It was someone who suspected this 18-year-old was a Republican “extremist,” Fox News reported.

Shannon Brandt, 41, killed 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson early Sunday in McHenry with an SUV in an alley, KVRR-TV reported. He is charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a deadly accident.

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Brandt reportedly called 911 to report the crash, authorities said. Authorities said he was allegedly drunk at the time. 

Court documents said he told a 911 dispatcher the teen was part of a Republican “extremist group” and was calling people to go after him following an unspecified political argument. 

The young man’s mother said that her son called her prior to being hit and asked her if she knew Brandt. She did, but the teen is not believed to have known him.

“He was the one who called 911 to report the crash,” North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind said, The Grand Forks Herald reported.

“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,” the report said.

Brandt was said to be drunk when police arrested him.

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“We are still trying to determine what, exactly, transpired at the time of crash and prior to that as well,” the captain said.

“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,” he said.

The suspect was held on a mere $50,000 bail to which he objected, saying he was 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,” he said to the judge.

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If he is convicted of vehicular homicide with a prior DUI on his record he would face a minimum of a decade in prison, with a maximum of two decades. But authorities said that as the investigation develops he could face more serious charges.

This comes weeks after President Biden insisted that “MAGA Republicans” were a threat to the nation.

“We must be honest with each other and with ourselves,” Biden said during the speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, with a pair of U.S. Marines in the background. “Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”

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“MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution,” he claimed without context or explanation. “They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of a free election.”

“And they’re working right now, as I speak in state after state, to give the power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election-deniers to undermine democracy itself,” Biden continued.

“MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards. Backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love. They promote authoritarian leaders and they fan the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country,” the president said.

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