CARRINGTON. N.D. – Over 100 people attended a funeral for Cayler Ellingson on Monday afternoon, and are remembering the 18-year-old as someone who was “Kind, smart, and big-hearted person.”
Ellingson died on Sept. 18 and police say that Shannon Brandt, 41, admitted to hitting him with an SUV after a street dance at a local bar in McHenry, North Dakota. Brandt told a 911 operator that he hit the teenager because he was part of a “Republican extremist group” and added that he had a “political argument” with Ellingson, according to an affidavit. Brandt also claimed that Ellingson was calling other people to come “get him,” the court documents continued.
North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind told Fox News Digital on Sunday that they have “no evidence” that Ellingson was a “Republican extremist” or that the incident involved politics.
The teenager suffered serious injuries from the incident and was taken to a local hospital, but he later died.
CAYLER ELLINGSON: FUNERAL SET FOR 18-YEAR-OLD ALLEGEDLY MOWED DOWN BY SHANNON BRANDT
On Monday, a funeral was held for Ellingson at a local church in Carrington, North Dakota. Over 100 people could be seen entering the funeral.
Several of Ellingson’s friends and family members, including his brother, were pallbearers and carried the casket to the hearse.
An obituary for Ellingson states that he was a “kind, smart, and big-hearted person.”
Another person who chose to remain anonymous when speaking with Fox News Digital said that Ellingson was an “exceptional child” with a bright future ahead of him.
A message from the Ellingson family in the obituary states that the teenager will “forever be on our minds.”
CAYLER ELLINGSON’S FAMILY HOSTS PRAYER SERVICE FOR SLAIN 18-YEAR-OLD: ‘KIND, SMART, AND BIG-HEARTED PERSON’
“Our love for you will never go unnoticed, you will forever be on our minds, it’s heartbreaking to let you go, but please never say good-bye your time on earth was not finished. Please watch over all of us. Until we meet again, we love you Cayler, ‘give heaven some he–.’” the message from the family reads.
The teenager graduated from Carrington High School in May 2022 and was studying to be an ultrasound technician at Bismarck State College for Diagnostic Sonography when he passed away.
“It’s that’s all anybody can talk about right now,” one person said of the incident. “I still can’t wrap my head around it. I really can’t.”
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Ellingson called his mother before the incident, telling her that “‘he’ or ‘they’ were chasing him.” The mother then said that she was “on her way to get him” prior to that call, the affidavit states.
A court document states that Brandt, during an interview with police, “admitted to striking someone he never met with his vehicle” and then left the area.
Brandt is charged with criminal vehicular homicide as well as leaving the scene of a crash involving a death after the incident. His blood-alcohol level was over 0.08, a breathalyzer test later showed, according to the affidavit.
He posted bail on Sept. 20 and walked out of jail without being placed under house arrest or given a curfew, court documents show.
Under the bail order, Brandt cannot leave North Dakota, cannot drink alcohol and must participate in a 24/7 sobriety program with constant testing.
Brandt is also not allowed to possess “a firearm, destructive device, or other dangerous weapon” and cannot go within 300 feet of the Ellingson family.
Brandt is due back in court on Oct. 11.
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