"Innocent" Murder Victim Is Honored, "He Just Wanted To Help That Guy"

Typically there is mass at St. Pauls Newman Center on the NDSU campus on Wednesdays. But, this Wednesay there was a special service honoring the life of Samuel Traut.

Family, friends, and those who knew him well remembered Traut at the building where he spend a lot of time.

24-year-old Sam Traut, a former NDSU engineering student was murdered Tuesday with a hammer. Ashley Hunter is facing murder charges in connection to Traut and another man. Police say Traut and Hunter did not know one another. Hunter was allegedly high on meth when he knocked on Traut's door. Police say Hunter asked Traut for a glass of water, then killed him.

Court records read: "Hunter jumped the fence behind the house he was staying at, 1191 North University Dr and went to the garage and then the back door of the house at 1122 12 St North. Hunter said a male came to the door and Hunter asked him for a glass of water. Hunter said it took him like five minutes to get back with a cup of water. Hunter said he saw his name a picture on the news that night, and knew he was wanted by police. Hunter stated he was scared the guy getting him water was going to call the police so when he came back with the water he hit him in the head with a hammer."

Traut was living in a home on 12th Street North, which is owned by the Catholic Diocese, and managed by St. Paul's Newman Center.

"He would just want us to be happy because we know without faith, he won the race, he just skipped right on up to heaven," says Bryan Thiry, who used to live and do missionary work with Traut.

Police say Traut was a good young man who unknowingly opened his door to a monster.

"Before the police report or anything that came out, I was like man I bet he just wanted to help that guy so bad, says Thiry. He who drove 6 hours to Fargo after hearing his friend was murdered.

"Feel like we were hit by a train,” says Rev. James Cheney while choking back tears. He is with St. Paul’s Newman Center, and knew Traut very well, “And we are just trying to make sense out of how all this happen in our community. How could just a random, senseless, tremendously horrific act of violence and murder be committed against such a virtuous, just, and kind man."

An NDSU engineering graduate, a teacher, a missionary, and to many, the very best friend. "He will be really missed," says Rev. Cheney.

"Just peace, peace in Fargo, I think we all just need to love each other more, things like this wouldn't happen if everyone just accepted more joy and more love into their hearts. That's what we want, that's what we want to come out of this, just everyone needs to be more joyful and find the goodness in life," says Thiry.

Traut is originally from Sartell, Minnesota. The same hometown as Tommy Bearson, an NDSU student murdered last fall. Police say right now it looks like there is not a connection between the two murders. But, Moorhead police say Bearson's case remains a top priority.

There have been 3 murders in Fargo this year. Police Chief David Todd says that many is unusual for the area. However, he says he's not ready to say Fargo is changing for the worse. Stressing crime rates are still low for a city this size.