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'I had to kill that man, mom': Stabbing suspect charged with first-degree intentional homicide

Posted at 5:10 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-31 07:54:39-04

MILWAUKEE — Amando Lang, the 19-year-old suspect accused of randomly stabbing and killing a 49-year-old Madison man, will be charged with first-degree intentional homicide.

"I had to kill that man, mom," Lang said to his mother after being arrested, according to the criminal complaint.

Lang was detained and interviewed by police about why he allegedly stabbed Ramaker & Associates employee Ben Christianson in the neck as he worked on the side of the road in Greenfield.

The interview included a rambling from Lang explaining that he believed Christianson was a criminal who was going to kill his family. Lang thought he himself had a "99% chance of dying," so he killed Christianson, claiming he was "officially known as an FBI cop," according to the complaint.

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 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.

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."

Officers responded to South 60th Street and Armour Avenue in Greenfield just after noon Tuesday for reports of an "assault with an edged weapon." The victim had suffered a severe stab wound to his neck and was taken to Froedtert Hospital, where he was dead on arrival, according to the complaint.

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

If you or someone you know is battling with mental health illness and need resources to help, you can contact the National Alliance on Mental Health at 800-950-NAMI (6264).