A Minnesota store clerk was killed when a customer viciously attacked him, according to police and news outlets.
Robert Skafte, 66, was working at Oak Grove Grocery in the Loring Park neighborhood in Minneapolis, KSTP reported.
At 12:55 p.m. Dec. 8, officers were called to the store for reports of a stabbing. When they arrived, they found a “horrific scene,” Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara said at a news conference streamed by KMSP.
“It appears that an individual came into this grocery store, prior to the police arriving, and came up to the counter with some items to purchase. And it appears, then went behind the counter and then began to assault and bludgeon the individual behind the counter in a very grotesque way,” O’Hara said.
O’Hara said the man impaled Skafte in his torso with a golf club. Skafte was taken to a hospital where he died of his injuries.
“It’s heartbreaking. I haven’t even slept yet,” his former co-worker Oliver Master told KSTP. “The amount of heartbreak I feel is just, it’s like I lost a member of my family.”
O’Hara called it a “vicious and medieval attack,” according to KMSP, which then led to a six-hour long standoff with the man in an apartment building across the street. Eventually police took the man into custody.
O’Hara did not release the suspect’s name.
“We know the victim in this case was very well-known to this community. We know this neighborhood is hurting tonight,” O’Hara said.
Many people took to social media to express their grief.
“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 Farmer’s Market coordinator. He worked at and was devoted to the Oak Grove Grocery. He was a shining light in the neighborhood,” a Facebook post from the Citizens for a Loring Park Community said.
“He was there when I needed a soda, a social interaction, and someone to remind me of the power of goodness in the world. Though times were dark, the world was still good and Robert was living proof of that goodness with the most subtle yet powerful gestures,” another Facebook post read.
O’Hara said it is unclear if the man and Skafte knew each other, but he says the man lived across the street from the store.