Creighton University baseball administrator fatally shot

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Creighton University baseball administrator was found dead Thursday in the yard of an Omaha home that he had just sold to a realty company, police said.

Christopher Gradoville, 37, died from multiple gunshot wounds, the Omaha World-Herald reported. Police said they arrested a tenant in the home, 43-year-old Ladell Thornton, on suspicion of first-degree murder, use of a weapon to commit a felony and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

Gradoville was the director of baseball operations at Creighton University. He joined Creighton’s baseball staff as its director of operations in the fall of 2020. The former Omaha Bryan High School standout played for the Jays’ program from 2004 to 2007.

Omaha police said they arrived at the home shortly before 8 a.m. after receiving a report of gunshots in the area.

Gradoville had just flipped the house and sold it to a realty company that was renting it to Thornton, officials said. Gradoville had arrived at the house to take care of one repair he had promised the realty company he would make.

Thornton has an extensive criminal record, including convictions for negligent child abuse and theft. Most recently, he was charged with assault by strangulation or suffocation and was released on bail in late July from the Douglas County Jail.