A group of young people enjoying a lazy Saturday tubing down a Wisconsin river near the Minnesota border had their lives upended when a man reportedly took out a knife and began stabbing them. In all, one teenager died and four people were seriously wounded in the attack.
On Saturday at the Apple River at approximately 3:47 p.m. local time, police say Nicolae Miu, a 52-year-old man from Prior Lake, Minnesota, began attacking two separate groups of tubers, comprising a total of about 20 people.
One of the stabbing victims, Ryhley Mattison, summarized her version of the events on a GoFundMe page she recently created: “Some friends and I were tubing when we came a crossed a group who were asking for our help. My friends and I went over to see what was going on and there was an older man there being inappropriate and was asked to leave but wouldn’t. The older man ended up having a knife and stabbed a few friends of mine and myself included.”
In addition to Mattison, Miu also allegedly wounded two men from Luck, Wisconsin, and another man from Elk River, Minnesota. The two men from Luck have since been discharged from the hospital. Mattison and the man from Elk River reportedly remain in stable but critical condition.
Unfortunately, another young man, 17-year-old Isaac Schuman from Minnesota, was also transported to a local hospital where he later died. Schuman was set to begin his senior year at Stillwater High School in just a few weeks.
“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,” Schuman’s family said. “We very much appreciate the overwhelming outpouring of love and support from our friends, Isaac’s friends and the Stillwater Community.”
Authorities at the St. Croix Sheriff’s Office are still trying to piece together exactly what happened.
“We don’t know yet who was connected to who, who knew each other or what precipitated it,” Sheriff Scott Knudson said at a press conference. “It’s a tragic day.”
Police are currently speaking to a “number of witnesses,” one of whom was able to capture a photo of the suspect as he was fleeing the scene. Other witnesses spotted him an hour and a half later, when they saw him getting out of the river further downstream.
On Monday, Miu was formally charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide and four counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide. His bond has been set at $1 million.