PORTLAND, Ore. — The private security guard who allegedly shot and killed Freddy Nelson on May 29 is facing multiple charges for the incident, including second-degree murder.
A grand jury also indicted 28-year-old Logan Gimbel for unlawful use of a weapon, two counts of second-degree unlawful use of mace, and recklessly endangering another person, according to a news release from Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt.
It's still unknown what led up to the shooting but a civil lawsuit filed by Nelson's wife against the owners of the property and security company shed light on the allegations.
Court documents indicate there was a personal dispute between Nelson and people from TMT Development Company and D. Park Corporation, the owners of the land where the Lowe's is located and employers of the Cornerstone Security Group that hired Gimbel. The complaint states that security guards were told to "be on the lookout" for Nelson, and to harass, follow and intimidate him.
According to the civil suit, after Nelson and his wife Kari entered the store, Gimbel blocked in the Nelson's car, went inside the store and told Nelson he was under arrest. Nelson and his wife left the store, got into their car and tried to leave, when Gimbel tried to open the door. When he couldn't get in the door, Gimbel pepper-sprayed Nelson and his wife through a cracked window.
Gimbel then moved and stood in front of the vehicle and told the Nelsons not to move. The civil suit claims they complied, but claims that Gimbel fired four shots into the windshield, three of which struck Nelson.
According to Portland police, officers found Nelson dead in the Lowe's parking lot near Delta Park in North Portland around 6:40 p.m. on May 29.
Nelson's family claims that Cornerstone, TMT and D. Park were negligent in hiring Gimbel since he was not fully certified to be an armed security guard, and Cornerstone created an environment that encouraged the use of violence and failed to include meaningful de-escalation training to employees. They're seeking $25 million in damages.
An attorney representing the Nelson family told OBP in July that it was unclear why Nelson was approached by the guard. The same article reported that Nelson may have been banned from the property for selling drugs on it at one time, but it's unclear, more than a year later, why Gimbel approached Nelson and his wife.
Gimbel turned himself in and was given no bail for the second-degree murder charge, and a total bail of $12,500 for the other charges.
According to court records filed on Dec. 2, at least 16 witnesses told the jury what they saw over six separate days starting back on Nov. 18.
Schmidt released a statement that said: "My thoughts are with Freddy Nelson’s family in the wake of this tragedy. We will work to prevent anything like this from happening again."
The DA said he's been working with state lawmakers to assess existing laws that regulate private security training, accountability for misconduct to use of force, and balancing the role private security guards can play while protecting the public.
State Rep. Janelle Bynum of Happy Valley stated:
"True justice would be Mr. Nelson still being here with us today. I am saddened that Oregon lost a father and a husband through this tragedy. The authority to protect and serve people is derived from the community, and thus all policing conduct must be held to the highest standard. When that standard is not met, our community deserves to see course corrections through accountability mechanisms and through policy."
State Sen. Floyd Prozanski of Eugene said: "Guns should be used only in the rare situations where circumstances dictate their use."
"This case is not only devastating to the victim’s family, but it also fortifies the need to review the current level of de-escalation training and tactical engagement that private security personnel receives to obtain their certification or license," Prozanski said. "We must make sure that the private security sector adheres to modern best practices of de-escalation and tactical engagement."
VIDEO: KGW Headlines on Demand