A grand jury has indicted a Portland security guard for killing a man in a North Portland shopping center parking lot this May.
The victim, Freddy Nelson, was sitting in the driver's seat of his truck the evening of May 29, when Logan Gimbel, a guard employed by Cornerstone Security, fatally shot him in the heart and head. Nelson's wife, Kari Nelson, was sitting in the passenger seat of the parked vehicle at the time.
It's not clear what instigated the shooting. According to Tom D’Amore, the attorney representing Nelson's family in a wrongful death lawsuit, Nelson had a poor relationship with Cornerstone Security guards hired to patrol the Delta Park shopping center, which is owned by a real estate group called TMT Development. D'Amore, who has collected details from Kari about the incident, told the Mercury that Gimbel approached the couple as they were exiting Lowe's that evening, and ordered Nelson to put his hands behind his back. According to D'Amore, Nelson ignored the command, got into his truck with Kari, and locked the doors. That's when D'Amore says Gimbel reached through a rolled-down back window and pepper-sprayed the couple from behind. Kari told D'Amore that the next thing she remembered was seeing Gimbel standing in front of the car, firing his gun at her husband.
Nelson died at the scene, despite several witnesses attempting to resuscitate him.
An investigation published by OPB in July found that Gimbel was not approved to carry a firearm while working by the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST), the state agency that regulates security guards and law enforcement. The report also found that, after the shooting, a representative from Cornerstone told DPSST that Gimbel had acted in self-defense, since he believed Nelson was going to run him over with his truck.
The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Cornerstone and TMT Development in October, seeking $25 million.
On Thursday, a grand jury indicted Gimbel for murder in the second degree with a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon with a firearm, recklessly endangering another person, and two counts of unlawful use of mace in the second degree. According to the Multnomah County District Attorney's office, Gimbel turned himself in to Portland police Thursday morning.
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said that, in the aftermath of Nelson's death, his office has sought to work with state lawmakers on analyzing current sate laws that govern the use of private security like Cornerstone.
“My thoughts are with Freddy Nelson’s family in the wake of this tragedy," said Schmidt in a press release. "We will work to prevent anything like this from happening again."