Man beat grocery worker until golf club broke, then impaled him with broken shaft, police say

Man beat grocery worker until golf club broke, then impaled him with broken shaft, police say

(As originally published, Thu, December 14th 2023, 5:34 PM EST)

MINNEAPOLIS (TND) — Police investigating a violent, deadly beating at a grocery store got a lucky break in the case, but found the suspect holed up in his 16th-floor apartment.

They got a call about “an apparent physical assault on an employee” in Minneapolis last Friday and found “the victim on the ground behind the sales counter,” according to the arrest report.

“The victim had severe blunt- and sharp-force injuries to his head and face, and had been impaled through the torso with the shaft of a metal golf club.”

Robert Howard Skafte was rushed to a hospital where he died from “multiple penetrating and blunt force injuries.”

Police credit a witness who approached them and said across the street, they saw “a resident of the building, later identified as Taylor Justin Schulz

run into the apartment building with apparent blood on his face and clothing.”

Officers went upstairs and knocked on his door but the arrest report said Schulz “yelled at officers to ‘go away’ and refused to leave the apartment.

“After approximately six hours of attempted contact and negotiation by Minneapolis police, Defendant opened the door of the apartment and was taken into custody.”

Investigators said they executed a search warrant at Schulz’s apartment and recovered his clothing, which he’d tried to clean with a bar of soap.

Surveillance video let authorities see the violent attack that had taken place in the store, when apparently nobody else was around.

Man beat grocery worker until golf club broke, then impaled him with broken shaft, police say
Police said Taylor Justin Schulz dragged his 66-year-old victim by the shirt so he wouldn’t get away, and continued choking, punching, and kicking him before getting the golf club, Dec. 8, 2023. (Hennepin Co. Jail)

“The recording depicts the victim working behind the counter when Defendant entered the store. Defendant walked down an aisle, then approached the counter with an item of merchandise.

“Almost immediately after approaching the counter, Defendant walked around the counter and physically attacked the victim, kneeing and punching the victim repeatedly.

“The victim attempted to get away from Defendant, and Defendant dragged the victim back by his shirt and continued the attack by choking, punching, and kicking the victim.

“Defendant then retrieved the golf club from behind the store counter.

“Defendant struck the victim’s head and neck area with the golf club eight times before the head of the club broke off.

“Defendant then stabbed the victim repeatedly with the broken shaft of the club, ultimately impaling the victim through the torso.

“Defendant then walked out of the store.”

About a minute and a half later, a customer entered, saw the victim, and called police.

Besides this attack, authorities said, “Witnesses connected with Defendant’s apartment building reported to police that Defendant has assaulted other residents of the building on previous occasions.”

They did not mention a motive.

Skafte, the victim, was 66.

Schulz, 44, had a cut on his face when his booking photo was taken. He’s charged with second-degree murder with intent but not premeditated.

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