DOUGLAS COUNTY, NE. (THECOUNT) — Christopher Gradoville, a Creighton University baseball administrator, was found dead Thursday in Douglas County.

Gradoville, 37, was fatally wounded in the yard of an Omaha home that he had just sold to a realty company.


According to reports, police 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.

Omaha police say, officer responded to a call of shots fired at the home shortly around 8 a.m. When they arrived, Gradoville was found deceased of gunshot injuries.

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.

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.


Geo quick facts: Douglas County is a county in the U.S. state of Nebraska. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 517,110. It is the state’s most populous county, home to over one-fourth of Nebraska’s residents. Its county seat is Omaha, the state’s largest city – Wikipedia.