A 17-year-old boy from Minnesota is dead and four people are critically injured after a mass stabbing incident on the Wisconsin Apple River involving tubers.
“Everybody was tubing,” including the victims and suspect. They were “simultaneously going down” the Apple River, St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said in a July 30, 2022, news conference.
A 52-year-old Minnesota man is in custody, the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department wrote in a news release and the sheriff confirmed. The suspect’s name and motive have not yet been released.
Miu has now been criminally charged. You can read the criminal complaint here. He is claiming self defense; the complaint describes an intense confrontation between Miu and a group of juveniles.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Sheriff Described the Stabbings as ‘Chaotic, Scary’
The suspect was with a group of six-eight people, and the victims were in another group. The sheriff said authorities want to interview about 15-20 people. Authorities aren’t sure what started the incident.
“We located five individuals that were suffering from stab wounds,” Knudson said. Four people were transported to a hospital. One person was deceased. The four surviving victims are three males and a female. The sheriff did not have their hometowns.
The tubing area is located in Somerset, Wisconsin. Knudson called it “chaotic, scary. I am sure that anybody who witnessed this will never forget it. It is a tragedy, and I feel really bad for the families.”
According to Travel Wisconsin, “The Apple River is a 77.5 mile-long tributary of the St. Croix River. Outfitters in and around Somerset provide rentals and transportation for this popular tubing river. The first half of the trip offers relaxed family floating. The last half features a wild rapids area for the daring and a walkway along the side for the less adventurous.”
The Suspect Left the Scene After the Stabbings, the Sheriff Says
The suspect left the scene after the stabbings, the sheriff said. It took some time for authorities to get “up river,” the sheriff said, adding that the stabbings occurred near the Sunrise Bridge by the “old Sunrise Park.”
Deputies arrived and, with the help of other people and “tubers,” they began to administer life-saving measures and evacuate people. People suffered a “range of knife wounds,” he said.
The surviving victims are all in their early 20s. A perimeter was set up and mutual aid was called for, the sheriff said. Authorities located the suspect with the help of witnesses, and he was taken into custody without incident.
The victims suffered torso and body injuries. Authorities are searching the area for the knife. The sheriff said someone had taken a photo of the suspect. Knudson said it’s been maybe 15 years since a stabbing had taken place in the area. “I don’t know what to make of it,” he said.
“It’s best for me not to speculate what was the tipping point today,” said Knudson.
The suspect was not previously known to authorities. One victim was “walking wounded” but all victims have critical injuries, the sheriff said.
There Is No Further Threat to the Public, Officials Say
In a written statement, the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department said:
Please be advised, the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office responded to a critical incident on the Apple River in the Town of Somerset. Five people received stab wounds and are currently in a range of serious to critical condition. A Suspect has been located and TAKEN INTO CUSTODY, there’s no further threat to the public. We’re still actively investigating this incident. The names of the victims and suspect are being withheld at this time. Sheriff Knudson will provide an official press release at a later time.
Thank you to the following agencies and our partners for their assistance, Somerset Police Department, New Richmond Police Department, WI DNR, Oak Park Heights Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Lakeview EMS, and Somerset Fire and Rescue.
A woman Whose Son Was There Wrote, ‘My Heart Is Breaking’
People expressed shock on the Sheriff’s Department’s comment thread.
“This is so rare for our area here. There has to be more to this story. Going down the apple doesn’t have to be and usually isn’t dangerous. Good job everyone for ending the madness but let’s not let this be a continued trend in our absolutely beautiful village,” one woman wrote.
Another woman wrote, “My son was there, thankfully he answered right away. He had already left when the incident took place. Until I heard his voice, I was in a nightmare. My heart is breaking for the family of the deceased.”