19-year-old accused of fatally stabbing man in ‘random’ attack on quiet Wisconsin street

Posted at 8:08 PM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 20:08:26-04

GREENFIELD, Wis. – A 49-year-old man was stabbed to death in Wisconsin Tuesday in what police believe was a "completely random assault."

Ben Christianson

Police say someone armed with an edged weapon attacked and killed Ben Christianson near 60th and Armour in a quiet section of Greenfield.

"It's just kind of crazy what society is turning into. It's pretty sad, it really is," said Chuck Schultz, a Greenfield resident.

Christianson's mother, Jan, said her son was a hydrogeologist with Ramaker and Associates and was assaulted while collecting soil samples. Christianson was taken to the hospital but died from his injuries.

Christianson's mother says her son would have turned 50 years old on Labor Day, adding:

"It is ironic that Ben's life was ended where he loved being -- outdoors -- doing what he loved, his job. Ben lived his almost 50 years fully; skiing, fishing, working and camping with his buddies."

Greenfield police arrested the suspect, a 19-year-old Greenfield man, after authorities say he ran several blocks from the scene. Police said there appears to be no connection between the victim and suspect and the motive wasn't immediately clear.

Related: California man killed 4 in a stabbing rampage that lasted hours. He was arrested at a 7-Eleven

Investigators are asking anyone who may have witnessed this incident to contact the Greenfield Police Department.

Christianson's employer, Ramaker and Associates, issued this statement:

“Yesterday we learned that we lost a member of our team in a senseless act of violence in Greenfield. We are heartbroken to learn of this incident. He was a wonderful person and a great member of our organization.

"As an organization we are devastated and our thoughts go out to his family and loved ones. We are providing access to grief counselors for our employees to help them get through this difficult time.

"We thank and appreciate the first responders for their efforts in this situation. We are proactively working with law enforcement as they proceed with their investigation and are providing them with any information they need to solve this case, we strongly encourage others to do the same.

"Due to the nature of this investigation and out of respect to the loved ones of the team member we lost, we will have no further comment at this time.”