“It’s really gut-wrenching and also super hard to understand,” acquaintance Tay Sullivan told the station.
He described Skafte’s work in the community: “Trying to make the neighborhood not just livable, but beautiful.”
Skafte is listed as an alumnus by Kansas City Ballet, which features a photograph of him on a page of its website dedicated to the company’s production of “Lilac Garden” in 1991.
A makeshift memorial was created outside the store, and friends and colleagues remembered Skafte as a caring soul who made a lasting impression onstage.
“I’m grateful for the richness of those memories — to work with a dancer as talented as Robert,” choreographer Patrick Scully, who said he worked with Skafte at the city’s Walker Stage, told KARE.
Fellow dancer Denise Tate said, “He was just a light.”
On Friday afternoon, Schulz went to Oak Grove Grocery, across the street from his high-rise apartment, picked up items and proceeded to the counter, according to police and a criminal complaint.
He walked behind the counter, where he punched and kneed the victim, who tried to get away, prosecutors said in the complaint, citing security video of the incident.
The victim tried to get away, they said, but the suspect pulled him back and continued the assault, including choking the man, according to the complaint filed by the office of the Hennepin County attorney.
At one point, the suspect went behind the counter, grabbed a golf club and used it to beat the victim, prosecutors said. When the club’s head broke off, officials said, the man stabbed the clerk repeatedly with the shaft and ultimately impaled him before he left.
About a minute and a half after the attack, a patron entered the store, spotted Skafte on the floor bleeding and called authorities, prosecutors said. Skafte was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, they said.
Witnesses told police a man they believed to be Schulz was seen entering the high-rise building with blood on his face and shirt, which he allegedly tried to wash off with soap later, prosecutors said.
Officers responded to his unit, but when they directed him to come out, he refused, according to the complaint.
He surrendered peacefully after a six-hour standoff with SWAT team members and other officers, police and prosecutors said.
Neighbors alleged that Schulz had assaulted neighbors in the past, prosecutors said.
Court documents show Schulz is the subject of an eviction complaint filed exactly one month before the attack, on Nov. 8.
A lawyer for the landlord did not immediately respond to a request for more information.
Schulz’s court records also include a judge’s order in 2021 that he undergo mental health treatment for six months. It is not clear what exactly led to the civil petition to compel the treatment.