Grand jury charges private security guard with killing customer outside North Portland Lowe’s


A Multnomah County grand jury released a murder indictment on Thursday against a private security guard who was not certified to carry a gun on the job for shooting a client in the parking lot of Lowe’s Home Care Center near the North Portland Delta Park.

Logan C. Gimbel, 28, shot dead Freddy Nelson, 49, while Nelson sat in the driver’s seat of his truck on May 29.

Gimbel was patrolling the Delta Mall with a gun and claimed the shooting was in self-defense.

But a grand jury refused, returning an indictment against Gimbel who charges him with second degree murder with a firearm, illegal use of a firearm, reckless endangerment of ‘another person and two counts of second degree illegal mass use.

Gimbel attended the Portland Police Department Thursday morning, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said. Gimbel is being held without bail at the Multnomah County Detention Center and is due to be brought to justice on Friday at 9.45 a.m.

“My thoughts are with the family of Freddy Nelson in the wake of this tragedy. We will work to prevent such situations from happening again, ”Schmidt said in a statement.

Lawyer Tom D’Amore, who filed a $ 25 million wrongful death claim against Gimbel and his employer on behalf of Nelson’s family, called the development “good but bittersweet news for the wife. of Mr. Nelson, Kari and the children “. Nelson had three children.

Schmidt pledged to work with state lawmakers to strengthen oversight and training of private security officers in Oregon and issued a press release containing similar statements from lawmakers who chair judicial committees of the State House and Senate.

Gimbel, who worked for the Cornerstone Security Group, was not certified to carry a firearm while working security, according to State Department Public Safety Standards and Training records. He returned his private security certificate unarmed on June 22 as the state agency decided to revoke him for using a gun on the job and using lethal force with the gun while working.

Gimbel said he received training in armed security and sent a request to the agency for military certification, according to records. But the ministry said it never received the request and it was Gimbel’s responsibility to follow up, according to the records.

“Authority to protect and serve people derives from the community, and therefore all police conduct must meet the highest standards. When this standard is not met, our community deserves to see course corrections through accountability and policy mechanisms, ”said State Representative Janelle Bynum, D-Happy Valley, who chairs the committee. judicial process of the House.

Freddy nelson

Nelson and his wife had traveled to Lowe’s off North Hayden Meadows Drive to purchase materials for a renovation project. Nelson parked his truck in the parking lot near the garden center and gathered some of his belongings, while his wife, Kari Nelson, drove to the garden center to look at flowers, according to the family’s lawyer.

Freddy Nelson was still next to his truck when Gimbel stopped perpendicular to it, preventing Nelson from leaving the parking space, D’Amore said. Gimbel told Nelson he was under arrest, but Nelson argued the guard had no authority to arrest him, D’Amore said.

Property security officials had issued a “watchful eye” order for Nelson and harassed or intimidated him when he was seen, D’Amore said. It is not known what led to such an order.

Nelson’s wife heard an argument in the truck and returned to it.

According to the lawyer, Freddy Nelson told Gimbel he was leaving and the couple got into the truck and locked their doors. Gimbel tried to open the driver’s door and when he couldn’t, he pushed a bottle of pepper spray through a cracked rear window on the driver’s side of the truck and sprayed inside, according to D’Amore .

The guard then walked in front of the truck, raised his pistol and ordered the couple not to move, the lawyer said.

Moments later, Gimbel fired four shots. He hit Freddy Nelson three times in the head and chest, killing him while his wife was sitting next to him in the front seat, D’Amore said.

The charges against Gimbel for recklessly endangering another person and one of the counts of unlawful use of mass relate to Nelson’s wife, according to the indictment.

In the aftermath of Nelson’s death, Attorney Mike Schmidt pledged to work with state lawmakers to assess the adequacy of existing laws governing the use of private security training, malpractice liability. ‘use of force, balancing the important role they can play in protecting businesses with public safety as a whole, ”Schmidt’s office said in a press release regarding the indictment.

Senator Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the case “reinforces the need to review the current level of de-escalation training and tactical engagement that private security personnel receive for obtain its certification or license. We need to ensure that the private security industry adheres to modern best practices of de-escalation and tactical engagement. “

Matthew Cady, one of the owners of Cornerstone, told the state agency that certifies private security officers that Gimbel was carrying a body camera at the time of the shooting that the company handed over to the Portland Police Department . According to Cady, Gimbel had had issues with Nelson before.

On the night of the shooting, Nelson acted like he was going to run over the guard with his car, Cady said. Gimbel warned Nelson to stop, but he continued and Gimbel fired, according to Cady.

After the shooting, Cornerstone Security Group told the state that two other security officers who worked for the company had not received their official certification to carry a firearm but also carried weapons.

–Maxine Bernstein

Email [email protected]; 503-221-8212

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