TUBING TERROR: Teen killed, 4 critical after man, 52, goes on a stabbing spree over an alleged lost cellphone
Update: Nicolae Miu, of Prior Lake, Minnesota, has been identified as the suspect who attacked the group after people accused him of approaching children in the water. Miu told investigators that he had 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. His bond has been set at $1 million cash.
The 52-year-old man was charged Monday, Aug 1, with killing a teenager and stabbing four other people in a dispute that allegedly began with a lost cellphone during tubing on the Wisconsin river. The teen who died has been identified as 17-year-old Isaac Schuman, of Stillwater, Minnesota. He would have been a senior at Stillwater High School this fall. Those wounded 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.
Witnesses said the suspect was arguing with a group of juveniles and others told him to leave, the complaint states. Instead of leaving, Miu punched a woman and a fight ensued, according to the complaint. A video of the tragedy shows him falling into the river, emerging with a knife and then stabbing the teen. While earlier reports mentioned that police suspected it was a gang who attacked, later it was found that it involved Miu only.
The group was tubing along the Apple River near the town of Somerset in western Wisconsin, close to the Minnesota border, on Saturday, July 30. The Apple River has long been a favorite summertime vacation spot for citizens of the Twin Cities.
A member of what the St Croix County sheriffs believe to be another tubing group of six to eight people attacked them at around 3:45 pm. The motive behind the attack is unclear and cops are attempting to speak with the 15 to 20 people who were river tubing at the time.
Sheriff Scott Knudson described the situation as "chaotic, scary" at the isolated location. "I am sure anyone who witnessed this will never forget it. It is a tragedy," he added.
As the suspect did not have the knife on him when he was apprehended about a mile downriver from the crime scene, investigators are still looking for the murder weapon. Knudson claimed that the attacker was photographed by someone, which enabled authorities to identify him and resulted in his arrest one hour after the stabbing. He was apprehended without incident. According to Knudson, "We don't know yet who was connected to who, who knew each other, or what precipitated it."
After the assault, other tubers started providing first aid and helping the victims, according to Knudson.
Two victims were transported by helicopter to a hospital, and two others were transported by ambulance. All of them had body abrasions and were in critical condition. One of the victims is a woman and the other three are men. They were all in their early 20s, according to Knudson.
He added that in Somerset, the village about 35 miles northeast of Minneapolis where the stabbing occurred, tubing “is our main attraction.” The river is reachable by road, but the stabbings took place farther up the river from where the deputies arrived, making it harder for them to get to the victims. As a result, Sheriff Knudson said, they had to wade through about 100 yards of waist-deep water to get to them. The victims were then treated by emergency personnel with the assistance of other tubers.
Numerous businesses provide tubing on the local rivers. A person can ride a shuttle up the river for about $20 and then be dropped off with an inflatable tube to float back down, which takes about two and a half hours, according to one company.
The sheriff expressed his shock at the acts of violence. "It's been a number of years since a stabbing has taken place. I don't know what to make of it. I just don't know." said Knudson.
The suspect is currently at the St Croix County jail. Knudson said that they are hoping for charges to be made on Monday.
The authorities have not released the names of the victims or the suspect.