Nebraska Bar Owner Indicted for Fatal Shooting of Protester Has Been Found Dead in Hillsboro

The Omaha World-Herald reported that he died by suicide.

Crime scene tape at the scene of a fatal shooting in downtown Portland. (Alex Wittwer)

Hillsboro police on Sunday discovered the body of 38-year-old Jacob Gardner, who was indicted last week in Omaha, Neb., for the shooting death of a Black man, James Scurlock, during a May 30 protest.

Last week, a Douglas County, Neb., grand jury returned indictments against Gardner, a white bar owner, for manslaughter, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, terroristic threats, and attempted first-degree assault for the shooting of Scurlock.

The New York Times reported that Gardner confronted a group of men outside his bar during a May 30 protest. After being knocked to the ground, Gardner fired two warning shots as he tried to get to his feet, prosecutors say. He and Scurlock got into a scuffle, and Gardner fired a deadly shot at the 22-year-old.

The killing of Scurlock occurred in the first week of protests over the police killing of George Floyd. It received national attention, especially after local prosecutors initially declined to seek charges against Gardner.

It was not immediately clear what brought Gardner to Oregon. At the time of his indictment, he was believed to be in California.

Shortly after noon Sunday, Hillsboro police found Gardner's body in front of a medical clinic on the 300 block of Southeast 9th Avenue. They say they are investigating the cause of death, but they are not seeking any suspects.

The Omaha-World Herald reported Sunday that Gardner died by suicide. Gardner's attorney confirmed that cause of death to an Omaha television station.

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