On May 29, 2021, Freddy and Kari Nelson visited Lowe’s in Portland’s East Columbia neighborhood, where Mr. Nelson was shot and killed by a private armed security guard, Logan Gimbel. News agencies and the police investigated the Lowe’s parking lot shooting, finding significant problems with Gimbel’s actions, including that he pepper-sprayed the couple inside their vehicle and shot Mr. Nelson despite his compliance. Plus, Gimbel was not certified to carry or use a firearm. Gimbel now faces multiple charges, including second-degree murder.
Although Gimbel faces criminal charges, Kari Nelson, Freddy Nelson’s wife, was left alone to grieve and try to pick up the pieces after this horrific killing. Kari Nelson hired attorney Tom D’Amore to represent her interests and fight for justice for Freddy Nelson. Mr. D’Amore is a well-known Oregon personal injury and wrongful death attorney who has been representing clients in high-profile cases for over30 years. He’s garnered a reputation for his compassion, dedication, and skill in representing those who’ve lost loved ones due to someone’s negligence or wrongdoing.
Local Portland Man Shot and Killed in a Lowe’s Parking Lot
On behalf of Kari Nelson, Mr. D’Amore filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Gimbel, his employer, Cornerstone Security Group (“Cornerstone”), and property owners TMT Development Co. (“TMT”) and D. Park Corporation (“D. Park”). The lawsuit asserts that Cornerstone, TMT, and D. Park were negligent in hiring Gimbel, and Cornerstone created an environment where violence was acceptable.
On the evening of May 29, 2021, Freddy and Kari Nelson went to Lowe’s in Delta Park to shop for supplies for a bus they were remodeling. After parking their truck, Kari Nelson exited the vehicle and walked toward Lowe’s garden center to look at flowers. As she walked toward the store, Gimbel, an armed security guard, parked his vehicle behind the Nelsons’ truck, blocking him from leaving. Freddy Nelson remained in his truck. Gimbel left his car and approached the truck, telling Freddy Nelson that Gimbel was placing him under arrest. Freddy Nelson responded that Gimbel lacked the authority to detain him.
“He had them pinned in there; there wasn’t anywhere to go,” Kari Nelson’s attorney, Mr. D’Amore, said of Gimbel.
Hearing the altercation, Kari Nelson returned to the truck. Freddy Nelson reportedly told Gimbel that he was leaving. The couple got into the truck and locked their doors. Gimbel tried opening the truck’s doors. After failing to do so, Gimbel stuck a bottle of pepper spray through a cracked back window and sprayed the Nelsons. He then walked to the front of the truck, raised his pistol, and ordered the couple to stay put. He then fired four shots through their windshield. Three of those shots struck Freddy Nelson in the chest and killed him.
Kari Nelson fled the truck, horrified and covered in her husband’s blood. She screamed at Gimbel that he had killed her husband.
Mr. D’Amore acknowledges that Freddy Nelson had a strained relationship with the Cornerstone guards, who allegedly followed Nelson whenever he was on the property. However, no one knows why Gimbel approached the Nelsons on that particular night. Mr. D’Amore said the couple had not been fighting on the tragic evening.
Oregon Private Security and Citizen Arrest Laws
Logan Gimbel worked as a private security guard for Cornerstone Security Group. Under Oregon law, if a private security guard has probable cause to believe that person committed a crime in their presence, they may arrest and temporarily detain that person until law enforcement arrives. This is the same authority that any citizen has against another citizen, often called “citizen’s arrest.” However, according to Kari Nelson’s attorney, Mr. D’Amore, Gimbel’s reason for approaching the Nelsons is unclear. There are no reports that they were doing anything concerning.
Oregon law also allows security guards to use force “reasonably believed to be necessary” to defend themselves. However, despite Gimbel initially claiming he acted in self-defense, there is no evidence to indicate that Gimbel’s use of force was necessary.
A subsequent investigation also found that Gimbel was not firearms certified when he killed Nelson. Under Oregon law, a security guard must obtain an armed private security professional’s certification from the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) to carry a firearm for their job. Gimbel never applied to DPSST to work with a gun. Thus, Gimbel had no right to carry or use a weapon.
Logan Gimbel Indicted
On Dec. 21, 2021, Multnomah County grand jury indicted Gimbel for his actions against the Nelsons, despite his claim of self-defense. He now faces multiple charges, including second-degree murder with a firearm, unlawful firearm use, recklessly endangering another person, and two counts of second-degree unlawful use of mace. Gimbal is being held at Multnomah County Detention Center without bail as he awaits trial.
In the wake of the indictments, several lawmakers released statements that this is not only an indictment of Gimbel for his horrific acts but also of the private security sector. Oregon State Senator Floyd Prozanski stated, “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.”
Kari Nelson Files a Wrongful Death Civil Suit
In October 2021, Kari Nelson filed a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit against Gimbel, Cornerstone, TMT, and D. Park. The lawsuit states that Cornerstone negligently hired Gimbel since he was not certified as an armed security guard. It also alleges that Cornerstone created an environment that encouraged violence and failed to include meaningful employee de-escalation training. The wrongful death action is currently pending in the Multnomah County Circuit Court.
Oregon Civil and Social Justice Attorney
The Lowe’s parking lot shooting case sparked controversy and raised important questions about the role of private security guards in public spaces. The incident also highlights the need for increased regulation, accountability, and transparency in the private security sector.
Tom D’Amore, the founder of D’Amore Law Group, has been vocal about these and other issues involved with private security. The firm has a proven track record of helping clients achieve justice and compensation for their losses. The firm tirelessly fights for justice on behalf their clients and the community.