Fatal stabbing of Twin Cities man in Hudson comes as more Minnesotans visit bars and restaurants, police say

Family members have identified the Twin Cities man who was fatally stabbed outside a bar in Hudson, Wis., over the weekend during an encounter that left two of his friends wounded while two suspects are jailed.

Cain W. Solheim, 26, of New Brighton, was among the three people attacked shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, according to his stepfather and an aunt.

Solheim was “brutally murdered … in front of the Smilin’ Moose bar along with two other friends who were stabbed as well all coming to the aid of a much smaller friend who’s life most likely was spared due to my son’s ultimate sacrifice!” stepfather Kevin Hanson wrote in a Facebook posting Sunday night.

The stabbings come during a recently reimposed ban in Minnesota on indoor restaurant and bar service as part of the state’s effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic. There is no such restriction in place in Wisconsin at this time.

“Since the Minnesota closure, we have seen a huge influx of people from all over Minnesota coming to Hudson,” Police Chief Geoffrey Willems said Monday. “Some [come] to shop and dine, others to occupy the bars late at night.”

The chief added that along with increased patronage in his city, he has also seen “more disturbance calls, more weapons calls, more violence, more ordinance violations, etc. More of everything. There is a criminal entity that is coming to Hudson now that normally doesn’t come to Hudson.”

Willems said he doesn’t want to discourage visitors from coming to Hudson and feeding the much-needed economic vitality in the border city of roughly 14,000.

“We welcome everyone with open arms,” he said, “but there is a group of people that are of the criminal nature that are using this opportunity to come to Hudson and exploit the opportunity.”

Teddy Tschann, spokesman for Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, pointed out Monday that “the current [Minnesota Department of Health] guidance advises against traveling to other states. So I think it’s safe to say the [Walz] administration advises against it, unless someone was going to Wisconsin for work.”

Police said in a statement that witnesses told them that multiple suspects got in a minivan with Minnesota license plates and drove off. Emergency dispatch audio disclosed there were four people who left in the vehicle and that they were armed with a knife and a gun.

The van was located Sunday afternoon in Blaine, and two people were arrested and jailed in Anoka County, Willems said. Their identities have yet to be released.

“We believe this incident to have been a targeted attack,” the statement read, “and do not believe there is a risk to the general public.”

In wrote in a plea to help authorities with their investigation, Hanson wrote. “Please contact local authorities! Our family has suffered many losses this past year, but nothing hurts worse then losing your son!”

Authorities have yet to disclose the conditions on the other two victims, who were taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, any identities or the circumstances that led up to the violence.

An aunt, Jamie Solheim, said in a GoFundMe fundraising campaign on behalf of the family that “this is a really hard time for our family, especially my sister, Cain’s mother. We have days to arrange his funeral and need help with the cost.”