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Bar Owner Charged With Killing Protester Commits Suicide

Jake Gardner killed himself on the day he was to surrender in James Scurlock's shooting
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2020 1:19 AM CDT
Updated Sep 21, 2020 6:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – The white Nebraska bar owner charged with the fatal shooting of a Black protester killed himself Sunday, his attorneys announced. Jake Gardner, 38, was in Oregon at the time; he had been scheduled to return to Omaha on Sunday night and surrender to authorities over James Scurlock's death, the Omaha World-Herald reports. A grand jury had, last week, indicted Gardner on felony charges of manslaughter, attempted assault, making terroristic threats, and using a gun to commit a felony.

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One of his attorneys says Gardner left Nebraska due to death threats that followed the May 30 incident, USA Today reports. "I had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Gardner before his return, and he was really shook up," the other says. "The grand jury indictment was a shock to him, it was a shock to us, it was a shock to many people." Gardner and his attorneys claimed he acted in self-defense after Scurlock attacked him. (More on the incident here.)

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