Body camera footage from a Portland, Oregon, security guard who is facing second-degree murder charges from a shooting incident in May 2021 has reignited debates over whether the shooting was justified.
According to The Oregonian, 29-year-old Logan Gimbel worked for Cornerstone Security Group. The group had been in a dispute with 49-year-old Freddy Nelson, who was allegedly collecting wooden pallets, so he could resell them.
“You know you’ve been trespassed,” Gimbel said. “You know you’re not supposed to be here.”
When Freddy Nelson and his wife Kari Nelson did not leave, Gimbel sprayed pepper spray into the vehicle. Kari Nelson began screaming at Gimbel and hurling expletives at him.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic images and vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive.
Freddy Nelson then quickly drove his vehicle forward in the direction of Gimbel, at which point tensions rose even higher.
“Get the f*** out the vehicle now,” Gimbel said. “You already tried to hit me once.”
Gimbel had his gun drawn at this point in the video, and Freddy Nelson showed him a middle finger as Gimbel told him to get out of the car.
“You move this vehicle again, I will fire,” Gimbel said.
Nelson again drove towards Gimbel, and Gimbel stayed true to his word. He fired four shots at Nelson that clearly wounded him significantly.
As Kari Nelson screamed hysterically, Gimbel told her to call the authorities. An employee of the Lowe’s store then came into the parking lot while on the phone with authorities, and Gimbel told her Freddy Nelson was bleeding out.
The video concluded after Gimbel asked the Lowe’s employee whether authorities wanted him to render aid. Freddy Nelson died from his injuries.
After reviewing the video, firearms instructor and former sworn reserve police officer James Holman told the Oregonian he did not believe Gimbel acted appropriately.
“He’s using a level of force not commensurate with the issue, and he’s using tactics that are completely not congruent with the outcome that he wants,” Holman said. “This is a list of what not to do.”
John Gutbezahl, a lawyer representing Gimbel, said Oregon law allowed Gimbel to use deadly force when faced with felonious behavior, the Oregonian reported.
“Mr. Nelson tried to kill him, or seriously injure him, by use of his vehicle,” Gutbezahl said. “If this isn’t self-defense, we might as well get self-defense taken off the books.”
Meanwhile, Kari Nelson said Cornerstone Security Group had a personal vendetta against her late husband. She said he had been collecting pallets to resell without issue for the better part of a decade.
Cornerstone guards were reportedly hired to patrol the parking lots of the shopping center where the Lowe’s was located, but they had no jurisdiction inside the store. Kari Nelson said her husband had a good relationship with Lowe’s employees, and only the security guards had an issue with him.
Cornerstone Security Group issued a trespassing order against Freddy Nelson in April 2021, the Oregonian reported. Nelson had argued he was never told why he was banned from the property.
Social media users have been split in their assessments of the incident.
“[S]ecurity guard is completely in the right, dude tried to hit him, backed up, corrected the aim of the vehicle to better hit him the next go, so he was shot dead,” one user wrote on Twitter, “[A]t no point did he try to de-escalate and security has the right here calling this homicide is idiotic.”
security guard is completely in the right, dude tried to hit him, backed up, corrected the aim of the vehicle to better hit him the next go, so he was shot dead
at no point did he try to de-escalate and security has the right here
calling this homicide is idiotic
— Arthur Revolver (@Arthur_Revolver) August 20, 2022
“Couldn’t he just have moved out the way of the car,” another user questioned. “Seems stupid to stand in front of it. Plus, it looked like he wanted to drive away, not run him over. You give some people a badge, whether it be police or security, and the power trip is hard to contain.”
Couldn’t he just have moved out the way of the car. Seems stupid to stand in front of it.
Plus, it looked like he wanted to drive away, not run him over.
You give some people a badge, whether it be police or security, and the power trip is hard to contain.
— Johnny (@the_real_mccoi) August 21, 2022
Gimbel is tentatively set to stand trial on second-degree murder charges beginning on Oct. 19. All signs point to a hotly contested courtroom when the trial begins.
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