Lawyers for Jacob Gardner, 38, had expected him to return to Omaha after a grand jury returned a four-count indictment on Sept. 15.
"He was really shook up, because the grand jury indictment was a shock to him, it was a shock to us and it was a shock to many people,” attorney Stu Dornan told reporters.
Police in Hillsboro, Oregon, a suburb just west of Portland, confirmed in a statement that Gardner's body was found on Sunday outside a medical clinic. His death was not immediately classify as suicide.
Gardner's lawyers said he fled to Northern California and later Oregon on their advice due to death threats on social media, after Douglas County District Attorney Don Kleine declined to charge him in the death of 22-year-old James Scurlock.
Grainy video taken outside Gardner's bar shows two men in an altercation during sometimes violent protests on the night of May 30 that swept through Omaha and other U.S. cities, following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
An investigation into Scurlock's death led to a grand jury charging Gardner with manslaughter, use of a deadly weapon, attempted assault and terroristic threats.
STU DORNAN: The family of Jake Gardner asked Tom Monaghan and myself to share the news of his death today at his own hand. He was scheduled to return here to Omaha this evening to face the charges that had been returned by a grand jury indictment. I want to go back to the night of May the 30th earlier this year.
Mr. Gardner owned a bar in downtown Omaha, which also had a dance hall. He was present when what he thought was a shot came through the front window. It was actually a pole that was thrown out the front window. And individuals began to climb into the front window to begin to vandalize his bar.
I am angry at not having an opportunity to defend a man who acted in self-defense three times and was found to have acted in self-defense three times by, again, a very seasoned and respected county attorney and a very seasoned and respected Omaha police department. Yes, I am angry that he didn't have his opportunity to a fair trial and to a fair hearing. I am, sir.