HUDSON, Wis. (AP) – A 52-year-old Minnesota man was charged Monday with killing a teenage boy and stabbing four others in an argument that allegedly started over a lost cellphone while on a weekend trip. -end tubing down a river in western Wisconsin.
Investigators said in court papers that Nicolae Miu, of Prior Lake, Minnesota, attacked the group after people accused him of approaching children in the water. Miu told investigators he acted in self-defense.
He faces one count of first-degree intentional homicide and four counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide in St. Croix County, which sits along Wisconsin’s border with Minnesota. . The judge set bail at $1 million in cash for Miu, who appeared in court via video.
The deceased teenager’s family identified him as 17-year-old Isaac Schuman of Stillwater, Minnesota. He would have been a senior at Stillwater High School this fall.
The victims were traveling down the Apple River northeast of Stillwater, about 25 miles east of Minneapolis, on Saturday when they were attacked, sheriff’s officials said. The injured were two men from Luck, Wisconsin, ages 20 and 22, a 24-year-old woman from Burnsville, Minnesota, and a 22-year-old man from Elk River, Minnesota.
Minnesota Public Radio obtained a copy of the criminal complaint against Miu. According to the complaint, Miu was going down the river with his wife and several other people. Another group of people were also tubing on the river.
Miu told investigators he used a snorkel and goggles to search for a lost cell phone. Videos and testimonies indicate that bystanders accused him of approaching children in the water. Witnesses said Miu pestered a group of minors and was told by others to leave, the complaint states.
Instead of leaving, Miu punched a woman and a fight ensued, according to the complaint. The video shows him falling into the river, coming out with a knife and then stabbing a person.
“There was enough blood in the river that the water turned red in places,” the complaint states.
Miu told investigators he was provoked, according to the complaint. He said at least two other people in the crowd had knives and he took one of the knives from one of the men in the crowd, but he didn’t know what happened to him.
“They attacked me,” he said. “I was in self-defense mode.”
Burnsville victim Ryhley Mattison wrote in a GoFundMe post that she was hitting the snag with her friends when they came across a band asking for help. She said there was an older man who “was inappropriate and was asked to leave but he didn’t”, and that he stabbed her and several other people.
Luck’s victims have been released from the hospital, St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said Monday.
Schuman’s family said in a statement that he was an honor roll student and was preparing to apply to several universities to study electrical engineering.
“He had an incredibly bright future ahead of him and we are all heartbroken and devastated beyond words that his future has been tragically and senselessly cut short,” the family said. “We greatly appreciate the overwhelming outpouring of love and support from our friends, Isaac’s friends and the Stillwater community.”
Stillwater High School principal Robert Bach said in an email to the families that “we express our deepest sympathy to the family and to all those affected directly or indirectly.”
Bach told parents that the school would help them and their children through this difficult process.
“The death of a classmate, even to those who did not know them well, will impact each student differently, and all reactions should be handled with great care and support,” he wrote. . “We encourage you to talk with your children about this sad news and help them process their feelings.