22-Year-Old Shot And Killed During Nebraska Protest Following Confrontation With Bar Owner
Officials have determined Jake Gardner was justified in fatally shooting James Scurlock.
June 01, 2020 at 8:48 pm
A 22-year-old Black man was killed when protests over the killing of George Floyd turned violent in Omaha, Nebraska, on Saturday.
Prosecutors decided on Monday not to charge Jake Gardner in the killing of James Scurlock, saying he was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot Scurlock, Daily Beast reported.
Gardner, 38, and his 68-year-old father were stationed outside of Gardner's bar, The Gatsby, which was damaged during the protest. A confrontation between the duo and a group of younger individuals, which included Scurlock, ensued after the father pushed one of them.
Gardner, a white former Marine, indicated to the group he had a gun before being knocked into a puddle by two of the younger individuals. The bar owner then fired warning shots. When Gardner and his father then ran off, Scurlock jumped on top of him. In response, Gardner fired a shot behind him, hitting and killing Scurlock.
According to KETV, Scurlock died shortly after being taken to the hospital.
Gardner, who also owns the bar, The Hive, expressed his frustration about the protests on Facebook earlier on Saturday evening, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
“Just when you think, ‘what else could 2020 throw at me?’ Then you have to pull 48 hours of military style firewatch,” he wrote.
According to the World-Herald, one social media video showed a bystander trying to stop the shooting by talking to a man, who appears to be Gardner, saying “That’s not worth it!”
Scurlock’s father, also named James, urged Douglas County Attorney Donald Kleine to prosecute the bar owner.
“Last night, I lost a son,” the father said, according to the World-Herald. “My kids lost a brother. His daughter lost a father. ... We want them to go to court.”
The decision not to charge Gardner came after footage of the incident was reviewed by officials.
“The actions of the shooter, the bar owner, were justified," Kleine said during a press conference. "This decision may not be popular."
Several celebrities spoke out after hearing about the news of Scurlock's killing. Omaha native Gabrielle Union was among those who expressed her frustration.
Like many cities around the country, which have been trying to restore order after the killing of Floyd, Omaha has been hoping to stop violence from breaking out during the protests. However, the city is still seeing chaos. According to KETV, police used tear gas on Saturday night while protesters threw bottles and rocks. The violence resulted in many buildings getting damaged.