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Man won't be charged in fatal Omaha protest shooting

James Scurlock.jpg
Posted at 1:37 PM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-01 23:50:07-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The killing of James Scurlock has resonated with people across the Metro. The Douglas County Attorney’s Office says the shooter was protecting himself.

County Attorney Don Kleine said he made the decision by looking at the evidence, the interview of the shooter, and the videos of what happened.

He says it’s not based on emotions and what happened to George Floyd.

“Shooter was defending himself when he shot Scurlock,” Kleine said.

Kleine said that the shooter was justified in shooting Scurlock at about midnight Saturday.

The shooter was identified as Jacob Gardner, owner of the Hive Bar and Gatsby Bar.

Prosecutors showed video of a scuffle involving Gardner’s dad. Gardner backed up and showed a gun when two people jumped on him.

He fired two shots but didn’t hit anyone and then Scurlock jumped on his back. That’s when Gardner said he was being choked and shot him once in the clavicle.

“Mr. Gardner as we know now has said I did what I did to defend myself and we find that we can’t disprove that from the evidence that we have,” Kleine said.

“I honestly feel that if Mr. Gardner’s dad would’ve kept his hands to himself the incident would’ve never happened in the beginning,” said James Scurlock II. “Once again I ask that we investigate this and I ask my people to stand by me strong but do it peacefully.”

The shooter has been released from police custody. They say witness statements and video do not indicate they were saying racial slurs.

Prosecutors say Gardner did not have an active concealed carry permit but hasn’t been charged with a crime.

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