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'Going out to kill people': Suspect identified in Greenfield stabbing case

Posted at 6:11 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 16:33:54-04

GREENFIELD — The man believed to be responsible for killing 49-year-old Ben Christianson in a random stabbing attack has been identified as Amando Lang, according to an affidavit. The 19-year-old was arrested Tuesday afternoon after numerous witnesses led Greenfield Police to a home in the 4200 block of South 61st Street.

Greenfield Police were called to the scene just after noon Tuesday for reports of an "assault with an edged weapon," according to a news release. The victim, Christianson of Madison, was taken to Froedtert Hospital with life-threatening injuries where he was dead on arrival, according to the affidavit.

Police spoke with numerous witnesses who helped place the suspect at an apartment building in the 4200 block of South 61st Street off Coldspring Road.

A Greenfield Police officer had had previous contact with Lang, noting he displayed a lot of unusual behavior, including being highly paranoid and possible schizophrenic. He was known by police to carry swords and knives, according to the search warrant.

Once a location was narrowed down thanks to witnesses, police interviewed a juvenile related to Lang as they walked out of the apartment building in question. They noted Lang always carries a knife and often says he's "going to go out and kill people as he leaves the house," according to the search warrant.

The juvenile noted they saw Lang leave the house in clothes consistent with witness accounts. They heard Lang return and saw him change into different clothes. They described him as being "on edge" and very interested in the police presence outside.

According to the suspect's mother, Lang is autistic and has previously had anger problems. She alleged he had recently stopped taking his medication.

A juvenile who spoke with Lang on Snapchat a week prior said he told them, "I'm not trying to die, I'm trying to smell death."

"This incident is tragic. No fight, no conflict, this is just a random act," said Jay Johnson, Greenfield's chief of police on Tuesday.

The search warrant filed Wednesday notes a very extensive evidence list from Lang's residence.