Murder charges filed against man who impaled grocery store clerk with golf club 

The victim has been identified as Robert Skafte, who worked as a store clerk at Oak Grove Grocery and was described as a “shining light” in the neighborhood.

Taylor Justin Schulz/Hennepin County Jail

Taylor Justin Schulz, 44, was charged with second-degree murder Monday in connection to Friday’s gruesome killing of a Minneapolis grocery store clerk.

The victim has been identified as Robert Skafte, who worked as a store clerk at Oak Grove Grocery and was described as a “shining light” in the neighborhood by Citizens for a Loring Park Community.

“Yesterday we lost a beloved community member in the Loring Park Neighborhood, a long time Loring resident, a devoted volunteer, the Greening coordinator in Stevens Square, a professional dancer, and the Franklin/Nicollet Farmers Market Coordinator. He worked at and was devoted to the Oak Grove Grocery. He was a shining light in the neighborhood,” the organization said.

Robert Skafte/Oak Grove Grocery

Oak Grove Grocery said Skafte was “the heart and soul” of the Loring Park neighborhood in a tribute posted to Facebook.

“Robert was the definition of a good neighbor, a true friend, and the best teammate. He was the light of the neighborhood and our world will forever be a little less bright without him in it,” the business said.

According to the charges:

Minneapolis police responded to the grocery store Friday afternoon around 12:55 p.m. on a report of an assault on an employee.

They found Skafte on the ground behind the sales counter with “severe blunt- and sharp-force injuries to his head and face.” He was also “impaled through the torso with the shaft of a metal golf club.”

Skafte was immediately transported to the hospital where was later pronounced dead.

A witness told police they observed Schulz run into the Oak Grove Towers apartment building across the street with blood on his face and clothing.

Officers went to Schulz’s apartment unit on the 16th floor and attempted to make contact with him. Schulz told the responding officers to “go away” and refused to leave the apartment for six hours before he was taken into custody.

Police obtained surveillance footage of the attack, which showed Skafte working behind the counter when Schulz approached with an item to purchase. Almost immediately, Schulz then walked around the counter and began attacking Skafte, kneeing and punching him repeatedly.

Skafte attempted to escape, but Schulz dragged him back by his shirt and continued to choke, punch, and kick him. Schulz then found a golf club that was behind the store counter and struck Skafte eight times in the head and neck area before the head of the club snapped off. Schulz then stabbed Skafte repeatedly with the broken shaft of the club, eventually impaling him through the torso. Schulz then walked out of the store.

A customer entered about 90 seconds later and called 911. Police recovered the clothing worn by Schulz during the murder. Witnesses told police that Schulz has assaulted residents of his apartment building on previous occasions.

Schulz’s first court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. According to Crime Watch Minneapolis, Schulz was previously committed as mentally ill.

 

Anthony Gockowski
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Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and wrote for the Daily Caller.