On Saturday, 17-year-old Isaac Schuman was the fatal victim of a stabbing while tubing on the Apple River in Somerset, Wisconsin. Four other victims were seriously hurt as two remain hospitalized, and two have been released from a local hospital. The five victims ranged in age from 17 to 24 and were from Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The suspect, 52-year-old Nicolae Miu, reportedly was tubing on the river with a group of people until he started stabbing other tubers and fleeing. An hour-and-half-long search and evacuation of the river by authorities ensued, but the 17-year-old Stillwater High School student passed away.
“The death of a classmate, even for those who didn’t know them well, will impact each student differently and all reactions need to be addressed with great care and support,” the Minnesota Principal of Stillwater High School, Robert Bach, said in an email to families. “We encourage you to talk with your children about this sad news and help them process their feelings.”
The stabbings happened on video after a confrontation between Miu and several tubers who can be heard advising him to go away. Miu appeared to look for something in the video. According to the complaint, many on the scene thought he was “looking for little girls.” Miu was ultimately accused of being a child molester.
Miu reportedly had plenty of time to leave the altercation but retrieved a knife from his cargo pocket instead. Miu eventually is slapped and pushed by tubers before he stabs at some, including a woman on the torso. The scene became gruesome, according to the complaint, with Miu brandishing a bloody knife and the water turning a red-tinted hue.
When investigators interviewed Miu, he alleged that he was in fear for his life. In addition, while looking for a cellphone lost in the water, Miu claims he found a knife belonging to one of the tubers. Miu apologized to authorities for how the situation “ended up,” knowing that he had just flushed his life “down the tubes.”
Schuman’s family said the teen was on the honor roll and wanted to go to college to pursue a degree in electrical engineering.
“Isaac entered every room with a big smile, infectiously positive aura, and lifted everyone around him up,” a family statement obtained by local KARE TV said. “He had an incredibly bright future ahead of him, and we are all heartbroken and devastated beyond words that his future has been tragically and senselessly cut short.”
Miu, an engineer who designs cooling systems, said through his lawyer that the incident was a “chance encounter.” Held at the St. Croix County Jail with bond set at $1 million, he was charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide and four additional counts of attempted first-degree homicide.
One of his victims, 24-year-old Ryhley Mattison, joined Miu’s court case virtually from her hospital bed and explained how the incident transpired. She was tubing with friends and came across another group needing assistance from an older man that was inappropriate and wouldn’t leave.
Mattison added that she lost her job and is struggling with her accumulating medical bills. In addition to others victims and the loss of Schumer’s life, Miu’s time on the river changed many people’s lives.