A white bar-owner in Nebraska committed suicide months after he fatally shot a black rioter who vandalized his business and attacked him.
Though prosecutors originally deemed the shooting was in self-defense after reviewing video and witness testimony, the position was reversed after pressure.
“Mr. [Jake] Gardner, as we know now, has said I did what I did to defend myself and we find that we can’t disprove that from the evidence that we have,” Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said in June.
According to Kleine, James Scurlock, the victim, jumped on Gardner’s back and started to choke him after Gardner fired two warning shots in front of his business during the height of violent George Floyd protests in May.
“Words are exchanged and Gardner ends up on his back in the middle of the street when the shots are fired, including the one that hit Scurlock in the neck and killed him,” the New York Post reported at the time.
Then things changed earlier this month.
Kleine asked the grand jury to take a look at the case after his decision was criticized, saying he wanted people to have faith in the justice system. Critics had said that Scurlock was just trying to stop Gardner from hurting anyone. (NY Post)
Gardner was then indicted on several counts: “manslaughter, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, attempted first-degree assault and terroristic threats,” KETV reports.
On Sunday, he was found dead outside a medical clinic near Portland, Oregon, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
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