A Multnomah County Grand Jury has indicted security guard Logan Gimbel for fatally shooting a man in a North Portland parking lot in May.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced Thursday that Gimbel, 28, has been charged with murder in the second degree with a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon with a firearm, as well as three misdemeanor charges: recklessly endangering another person and two counts of unlawful use of mace in the second degree.

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The shooting took place on the night of May 29 at the Delta Park Center shopping plaza. Gimbel shot Freddy Nelson, 49, through the windshield of Nelson’s Nissan Frontier as Nelson sat in the plaza’s parking lot.

An OPB investigation found Gimbel was one of three guards working for Cornerstone Security Group who did not have a license to carry a gun while on the job.

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TMT Development, one of the city’s biggest real estate companies, had contracted with Cornerstone to patrol the plaza.

People line up outside a business with large glass-window walls and a sign that reads "BottleDrop"

The Delta Park Center BottleDrop location near where an armed guard fatally shot Freddy Nelson, a bottle drop regular, on May 29, 2021. The guard was an employee of Cornerstone Security Group, a company hired by the real estate company TMT Development to manage the crowd of folks lining up to recycle empty bottles and cans for cash.

Rebecca Ellis / OPB

According to notes on the shooting kept by the state regulatory agency that oversees police and private guards, one of the owners of Cornerstone said that Gimbel had “prior issues with the victim” and acted in self-defense. The owner told the agency that Gimbel shot Nelson after he “acted as though he was going to run over Gimbel with his car. Two eyewitnesses questioned that account, saying the vehicle never moved out of the parking space.

“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,” Schmidt said in a statement. “While this incident produced tragic results, it is not the only example, locally or nationally.”

OPB is in the middle of a three-part series about the rising use of private security in Portland. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s has expressed concern over the policing power the underregulated industry has been given.

“Concerns regarding the role of private security, particularly when they are armed, have been a topic of local and national discussion in recent years,” the statement from the DA’s office read. “While armed private security guards can encounter situations where the use of deadly force may be considered lawful, most do not receive the tactical and de-escalation training which is expected of sworn law enforcement”

Hours after he was indicted Thursday, Gimbel was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center.

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