Jake Gardner, the bar owner from Omaha, Nebraska, who had killed a violent Black Lives Matter rioter in self-defense in May, has committed suicide prior to the date he was expected to turn himself in on grand jury charges, according to Fox News.
Gardner was charged last week with four counts, including manslaughter, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, attempted first-degree assault, and “terroristic threats.” The charges stem from a violent riot on May 30th in Omaha, which were among the first in the nation following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, who died of a drug overdose while in police custody. In the riots, multiple businesses throughout the city were attacked and damaged by Black Lives Matter and Antifa rioters, with Gardner’s bar, The Hive, being among the targets.
When rioters gathered outside his bar and began smashing windows, Gardner fired at the attackers with his firearm, ultimately killing a single rioter in a clear act of self-defense. Gardner had fled Omaha to California following the shooting due to death treats, but was preparing to return to Omaha to turn himself in. Gardner’s attorney, Stu Dornan, said that the grand jury indictment came as “a shock to Gardner,” and the charges “really shook him up.”
Gardner was an Iraq War veteran, who said in a previous interview that he had joined the military in late 2000, and was “all trained up by 9/11,” before being deployed to Iraq for the 2003 invasion, and later to Haiti in 2004 “to break up the civil unrest.” Gardner had admitted that the subsequent death threats following his act of self-defense had made him “more anxious than when I was flying to Iraq.”