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Charges: Taylor Schulz fatally stabbed Minneapolis grocery worker with broken golf club

Man who stabbed victim with golf club had history of mental illness
Man who stabbed victim with golf club had history of mental illness 02:04

MINNEAPOLIS — A 44-year-old Minneapolis man is accused of murdering a beloved grocery store employee with a golf club last week - an attack that's left a neighborhood shocked and devastated.

On Monday, prosecutors charged Taylor Schulz, 44, with one felony count of second-degree murder for the killing of 66-year-old Robert Skafte last Friday at the Oak Grove Grocery in Loring Park.

The criminal complaint says footage from inside the business captured a brutal assault that ended with Schulz allegedly beating Skafte with a golf club before impaling his torso with the broken club's shaft.

Taylor Schulz Hennepin County

Skafte was taken by ambulance to a hospital, but died from what authorities described as multiple traumatic injuries. If convicted, Schulz faces up to 40 years in prison.

By Monday, a memorial for Skafte with flowers and candles still lined the sidewalk just outside the store. People who live on the block are mourning his death, describing him as warm, kind and friendly to all. 

Amanda Stienkeoway, a neighbor, tried to hold back tears as she recalled interacting with Skafte who "did nothing but altruistic acts for this community." She said it was hard to even comprehend what happened.

"After reading what he did, and the magnitude of the violence he brought towards Robert, there's nothing that ever will bring justice and nothing's going to ever bring Robert back no matter how many candles we lay every day," Stienkeoway said.

Court records show Schulz was civilly committed nearly three years ago for mental illness and diagnosed with schizophrenia. The court documents describe that he once told hospital staff that he was fearful "hallucinations would tell him to hurt someone, and he would follow through with such a command."

Vigil for victim outside Oak Grove Grocery.  WCCO

Stienkeoway said she lived in the building across the street where police said Schulz also resided. Charging documents detail that a witness saw him run into the apartment building with "apparent blood on his face and clothing" after the attack.

Authorities were in a standoff outside his apartment for six hours Friday afternoon after the killing, before he opened the door and police arrested him, according to the criminal complaint. It did not list a motive.

It's clear Skafte touched so many lives of the people who live in Loring Park and frequented the grocery store.

Daniel, a neighbor who did not provide his last name, said Skafte had a board up inside so customers could make requests for specific items they'd like to see stocked in the store and poured him coffee every morning, unprompted.

"A big heart of the community has been torn out. I don't know if it will ever be the same," he said.  

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