by Jon Hall, FMShooter:
Jake Gardner, a military veteran and bar owner in Omaha, Nebraska who shot and killed a rioter who was attacking him and his business, has committed suicide. Gardner was indicted by a grand jury on counts of manslaughter, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, attempted first-degree assault, and making terrorist threats. Omaha’s district attorney had originally ruled the shooting as self-defense.
Young Black Male Killed In Omaha Nebraska Protest by local Buisiness Owner !!! RT pic.twitter.com/ieTGejA9jH
— Lil Christ Kross (@Only1Kross) May 31, 2020
Authorities detailed that Gardner confronted a group of men outside one of his bars in Omaha on May 30 and was knocked to the ground by the mob. Gardner then fired two warning shots and tried to get back up to his feet, prosecutors said. As he was getting up, Gardner got in a fight with a man, 22-year-old James Scurlock. The two got into physical scuffle before Gardner fired a shot that killed Scurlock. A day after the incident, Douglas County District Attorney, Donald Kleine announced his decision to not bring a case against Gardner, saying that he acted in self-defense.
After Douglas County District Court Judge Shelly Stratman appointed a special council – assistant U.S. Attorney Fredrick Franklin – the same outcome of Gardner acting in self-defense was expected to be announced. However, Franklin instead bowed to the mob, and announced charges against Gardner.
During a press conference last week, Franklin explained:
The manslaughter charge is related to Scurlock’s death; the attempted assault charge resulted from the second warning shot Gardner fired; the charge of making terrorist threats is linked to a verbal confrontation that Gardner had with Scurlock… [A grand jury was] able to understand that Jake Gardner was threatening the use of deadly force in the absence of being threatened with a concomitant deadly force by James Scurlock or anyone who was associated with him.
An arrest warrant was signed off on by a judge for Gardner on Friday. A GoFundMe page for Gardner’s legal fees was created – and quickly deleted by the site. Gardner was allegedly planning to turn himself in to police at the start of this week, with an expected bail of one million dollars.
— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) September 21, 2020
Of note, Gardner’s attorney, Stu Dornan, spoke to press after Gardner’s suicide. “Gardner felt like he was in a war zone the night of Scurlock’s death,” Dornan said. “I want to make it very clear that this was a clear case of self-defense,” Dornan continued, while describing Gardner also being cooperative with police. Attorney Tom Monaghan said that social media convicted Gardner before he was even indicted before a grand jury.
Dornan and Monaghan also revealed new evidence, citing that “Gardner was inside his bar on May 30 when he heard what he thought was a bullet coming through the front window of his business.” It was later identified as a pole that had shattered the front window. Dornan said people began climbing into Gardner’s bar from the window, so he pulled the fire alarm, called police, and went out front. From there, the altercation between Gardner and Scurlock took place.