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OPD: Renter allegedly killed man who showed up to perform maintenance; victim Creighton baseball staffer

Posted at 5:00 PM, Sep 30, 2021

UPDATE: Man accused of murdering Creighton Baseball administrator denied bond

According to a release from the Omaha Police Department, a man who was showing up to perform maintenance on a rented home died after he was allegedly shot by the person renting it.

Upon arriving at the scene, officers located 37-year-old Christopher Gradoville suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was later declared deceased by Omaha Fire Department Medics. Gradoville was the director of baseball operations at Creighton University.

The president of Creighton University, Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD sent an email on Thursday afternoon to the Creighton University Community:

"Creighton Faculty, Staff, and Students,

It is with a tremendous amount of sadness that I share the news that Chris Gradoville, BSBA'07, an alumnus and Creighton’s volunteer director of baseball operations, was killed in a shooting earlier today. Earlier this afternoon, I gathered with head coach Ed Servais, athletic director Marcus Blossom, and several other members of the athletic department so together we could share this difficult news with the baseball team and staff. Out of respect for the family and given the circumstances of the investigation, it was important that we waited until now to share this information with the University community.

Chris was a standout baseball player for Creighton from 2004-2007, and joined the staff in 2020. The Gradoville family has strong ties to Creighton, as Chris’ grandfather and several cousins were also student-athletes. Chris was also very clearly admired by his colleagues within the athletic department, and the team.

As always, know that resources in Student Counseling Services and Campus Ministry are available for support. Please join me in expressing our deep condolences to Chris’ wife, Nikki, the entire Gradoville family, and his friends and colleagues here at Creighton. May God bless them and comfort their hearts during this extraordinarily difficult time.


Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD"

Creighton Baseball shared the following Tweet in tribute to Gradoville:

During the course of their investigation, police made contact with a suspect at the scene, 43-year-old Ladell Thornton, who they found to have recently leased the property.

The department said Thornton has been charged with first-degree murder, use of a weapon to commit a felony, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and that he was booked into the Douglas County Department of Corrections.

Anyone with further information is urged to contact the OPD Homicide Unit at (402) 444-5656 or Crime Stoppers at (402) 444-STOP, at or on the P3 Tips mobile app.

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