Punk Rocker Killed After Defending Woman

The lead singer of a hardcore punk band was fatally stabbed during an altercation with a partygoer he confronted earlier that night for allegedly groping a woman.

Christopher Johnson, the 32-year-old lead singer of the Minneapolis-based band Useless Wooden Toys, died early Saturday morning of a knife wound to the chest in the front yard of a house where the group had played a concert earlier in the night, Sgt. Jeff Canada, a spokesman for the Bloomington, Indiana, police told ABC News.

Police later found and arrested Brian White, also 32, and charged him in Johnson's murder.

Before the stabbing, Johnson and White had become involved in a fist fight inside the house. Johnson was apparently upset at White because he allegedly had groped a woman at the party.

"The victim witnessed the suspect grab the female by the buttocks and he stepped in and said, 'Knock that off. We're not going to tolerate that,'" Canada said.

A fight ensued and White took the worst of it. In his booking photo, shot several hours later after he allegedly killed Johnson, White has a black eye and an abrasion on his forehead. "That didn't come from the cops, that came from the victim," Canada said.

The fight was broken up and the homeowner asked White to leave using the backdoor because Johnson and his friends were in the front of the house. Instead, Canada said, White came down the front stairs of the house and stabbed the musician before fleeing back through the house on foot. Police said they found the murder weapon inside the house.

Johnson was rushed to the Bloomington Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

As they responded to the stabbing, authorities received a phone call from a neighbor who reported a suspicious person, later identified as White, at his back porch asking for "sanctuary," Canada said. When the neighbor said he was calling police, White hid in a cellar area, using a piece of sheeting to hide himself from police.

A police dog tracked White's scent and the murder suspect was taken into custody and briefly hospitalized for the injuries he sustained during the initial fight with Johnson.

During an interview with police, White asked how "that boy" was, referring to Johnson. Told that the man was dead and that police were bringing murder charges against him, White refused comment. It was unclear whether White had hired an attorney.

On the band's MySpace page and a separate tribute site, fellow musicians, family and friends mourned Johnson's death. A photo album shows Johnson grow from a towheaded child into a punk rocker adult who had recently married.