Minneapolis store clerk killed after being impaled by golf club

A Minnesota store clerk was killed Friday after someone impaled him with a golf club.

Police responded to reports of a stabbing around 1 p.m. and found the 66-year-old victim impaled through his torso behind the counter at a local grocery store in Minneapolis, according to a Minneapolis Police Department news release.

Neighbors identified the victim as ​​Robert Skafte, a dancer who performed all across the Twin Cities, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

First responders attempted medical aid at the scene before transporting him via emergency services to Hennepin County Medical Center. Skafte died at the hospital despite efforts to save his life, the release stated.

Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara said at a press conference later that day that the suspect had brought some of the store’s items to the counter and then started to “assault and bludgeon the individual behind the counter in a very grotesque way.”

Officers arrested the suspect, a 44-year-old man, after receiving information from a witness who helped them track him to a nearby apartment unit, where he barricaded himself. It took nearly six hours for negotiators, a SWAT team, a drone unit and a bomb squad to arrest the man without incident.

Homicide investigators are investigating what happened leading up to the stabbing, according to the police department.

Neighbor Tony Gutoski, a frequent visitor to the grocery store where Skafte worked, told the Star Tribune that Skafte remained conscious for a brief time when he found him with a golf club through his abdomen. Now, visiting the store again will be difficult, he said.

“It just makes me angry,” Gutoski said. “He was a great dude.”

Dozens of community members mourned Skafte at a memorial Saturday. Myron Johnson, founder of Ballet of the Dolls, the main dance theater company with which he performed, told the Star Tribune it was tough to imagine “something so tragic happening to someone so sweet.”

“Robert was rare because he was a great dancer who could also act,” Johnson added. “He was such a bright light.”