White bar owner charged with killing Black protester in Omaha kills himself

Elias Hubbard
September 24, 2020

A white bar owner charged last week in the May shooting death of a Black man during a night of civil unrest in Omaha, Nebraska, has taken his own life in OR, where he had been staying after the incident, his attorneys said.

Gardner was indicted by a grand jury on charges of manslaughter, use of a firearm, attempted first-degree assault and terroristic threats in relation to Scurlock's death.

"He told us that he felt that he was in the war zone that night outside of his bar with violence, the tear gas, and the mass confusion", said Mr Dornan, who called the shooting "a clear case of self-defense". Following the fatal shooting, Gardner faced death threats, and the owner of the building that housed the bar revoked his lease.

"The grand jury indictment was a shock to him", Dornan said of his client Sunday.

During the news conference Sunday, Gardner's attorneys maintained that Scurlock's death was a case of self-defense claiming that "lies on social media" are responsible for Gardner being indicted. The unidentified man pushed Gardner's father back and Gardner intervened, showing hand gun, according to Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine.

Gardner's body was found outside a medical clinic in OR, according to a statement by the Hillsboro Police Department.

"Unfortunately, there are two men who have died in a awful tragedy", Dornan added. I want to go back to the night of May the 30th earlier this year. "However, I'm not afraid of having a decision that I've made reviewed by others".

Scurlock family attorney Justin Wayne, who is also a state senator, told the Omaha World-Herald it would not be appropriate comment so soon after Gardner's death. He was charged after a grand jury reviewed additional evidence, including cell phone videos and police interviews of about 60 bystanders, Associated Press reported. What is known comes largely from grainy surveillance and eyewitness video, showing a heated verbal exchange between Gardner and Scurlock and his friends outside Gardner's businesses, The Gatsby and The Hive bars.

Gardner's attorneys said his apparent suicide was a result of behavioral health problems stemming from head trauma he experienced during military service. He was present when what he thought was a shot came through the front window. At some point, Gardner showed protesters he had a handgun, was pushed to the ground by some in the group, then he fired two shots that didn't appear to hit anyone.

If you are feeling suicidal, thinking about hurting yourself, or are concerned that someone you know may be in danger of hurting himself or herself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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