MINNEAPOLIS, MN – A beloved grocery store cashier and prominent member of the Loring Park neighborhood, 66-year-old Robert Skafte, was tragically killed on Friday in a brutal attack. The suspect, a 44-year-old individual with a history of mental illness, allegedly impaled Skafte with a golf club. The suspect was arrested after a six-hour standoff with the police. He is currently being held in the county jail.
Skafte was described by neighbors as a friendly face who had been working at Oak Grove Grocery for decades. He was also known for his talent as a dancer. His sudden and gruesome death has left the community shocked and grieving.
Upon responding to reports of a stabbing at the store, police found Skafte behind the counter with a golf club protruding from his torso. Despite immediate medical attention, he was later pronounced dead at HCMC. Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara provided initial findings from the investigation, stating that the suspect gathered an assortment of items in the store before attacking Skafte.
After tracking the suspect to an apartment building across the street, police encountered a standoff that lasted six hours. In the end, the suspect was apprehended and arrested. He had already been the subject of a person in crisis welfare check after calling 911 “wanting to speak to the FBI, refused to give further information.” Upon arrival, the suspect refused to leave his 16th-floor apartment; a negotiator was called.
While the motive remains unknown, Chief O’Hara described the attack as horrific and senseless.
Skafte was not only a dedicated grocery store employee but also a prominent figure in the local dance community. He performed in various shows across the Twin Cities and was well-respected for his talents as a dancer and a collaborator. Myron Johnson, founder of Ballet of the Dolls, mourned the tragic loss of a bright and versatile performer.
The suspect, who lived in the same building as Skafte, has a limited criminal history in Minnesota, with only a previous arrest for drunken driving. Records indicate that he had been civilly committed to mental illness earlier this year. The investigation continues as authorities try to make sense of the devastating events that unfolded.
The killing of Robert Skafte marks the 66th homicide in Minneapolis this year and the fourth within the past week. His kindness and enthusiasm for dance have left the community grieving the loss of a beloved individual.