A suspect has been arrested in the stabbing death of a St. Croix Falls, Wis., fisherman, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Thursday afternoon.
A man, accompanied by his attorney, turned himself in to sheriff’s officials in Balsam Lake, a dispatcher said. The man’s identity will be released by the Sheriff’s Office on Friday.
“As a result of our investigation, the vehicles involved in this incident have also been located and are secured. The other men with the suspect at the time of the stabbing have also been identified and interviewed,” said a statement from the Sheriff’s Office.
Peter Kelly, 34, a married father of five small children, was fatally stabbed about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday after a running, three-hour confrontation at Interstate Park with three young men while fishing.
Michael Kelly said his brother and friend were fishing on the Minnesota side of the St. Croix River when three men began yelling profanity and directing slurs at them. Crossing the river on his way home, Peter Kelly stopped at the area where the three men were “smoking pot,” to tell them that they should leave the river, where families often come, his brother said.
“He said, ‘You guys better knock it off. You’re going to say this to someone else, and it’s not going to be good. You can’t be swearing at people,’ ” Michael Kelly said. “Pete wasn’t a big fighter. He just wanted them to get off the river. He told them, ‘This isn’t the way you act. you need to get in the car and leave.’ ”
The men argued back and forth, and as the argument got more heated his brother noticed one of the men pulled out a knife, Michael Kelly said.
“He stabbed him right in the heart with it,” Michael Kelly said. “Pete ran back to his friend, saying he was stabbed.”
The three men ran off, and Peter Kelly collapsed to the ground.
Michael Kelly said he was told that a 19-year-old man turned himself in and is supposed to appear Friday afternoon in Polk County District Court to be charged in connection with the stabbing.
“People raise their kids, and they don’t care about life anymore,” Michael Kelly said. “We’ve been around this area our whole lives, and our parents raised us to believe life is precious. You don’t stab someone.”
Peter Kelly, who grew up in the St. Croix Falls area, was a volunteer youth coach and high school coach in wrestling, football and baseball.