Police on Wednesday announced an arrest in Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan‘s death from an apparent ambush. Henry Tenon, 61, faces a count each of murder in the second degree with a weapon, conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree, accessory after the fact in a capital felony, and child abuse.
Speaking in a press conference, Jacksonville Police Chief Gene Paul Smith and State Attorney Melissa Nelson did not describe the evidence they claim leads them to the defendant. The prosecutor said the arrest warrant and affidavit were sealed because of the ongoing investigation.
“We know Henry Tenon did not act alone,” Nelson said. She told reporters her office would seek an indictment against him for murder in the first degree.
Bridegan was driving home after taking his twin children and his two-year-old daughter to a routine weekly dinner on Feb. 16, 2022, the chief said.
“On Wednesday nights, Jared would take his 9-year-old twins to dinner with their two-year-old half-sister,” Smith said. “He had just dropped off his twins at their mother’s home and was driving to his own home on a dark area of Sanctuary Boulevard here in Jacksonville Beach.”
He came upon a tire left in the road. Investigators believe someone put it there on purpose to make him stop. Bridegan opened his SUV door, presumably to move the tire, Smith said.
“It was then that he was gunned down in cold blood,” the chief said.
Police claim this was a planned and targeted ambush. Nothing was stolen. Bridegan’s daughter remained strapped in the car seat in the back. The child was unharmed, though authorities are charging Tenon with child abuse because she was put in harm’s way.
Investigators did not suggest who they believed helped in the murder plot.
“This was such a heinous crime,” Bridegan’s older brother, Adam Bridegan, told WJXT in an August report. “I mean, the amount of times he was shot, just to ensure that he was dead, that he wasn’t going to be able to recover, and all of us in our family are just devastated.”
“Sometimes I feel like we are just a spectacle,” Jared’s wife Kirsten Bridegan said. “People don’t realize that this is our reality every single day. We wake up every day and Jared is still not here. His car is not pulling in the driveway. This is real. Myself, four children and an enormous amount of friends and family are all suffering every single day because of this. This is real.”
Kirsten and Adam joined authorities for the press conference on Wednesday, Smith said.
“She knows Daddy was on the ground. Daddy got hurt. She asks questions about why.”
Jared Bridegan’s 2-year-old daughter watched as he was savagely murdered in Florida.
Now his widow is demanding justice for the father of four. pic.twitter.com/SwO4hFvp3F
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) April 15, 2022
TONIGHT AT 5 AND 6: Kirsten Bridegan is not giving up the search for her husband’s killer. Five weeks ago, Jared Bridegan was shot and killed along a Jacksonville Beach road in front of their two-year-old daughter. She is leaning on the community for answers. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/tR6AuyTv9C
— Gretchen Kernbach (@GretchenK_TV) March 23, 2022
“It is becoming necessary to respond,” Bridegan’s ex-wife Shanna Gardner-Fernandez said, denying wrongdoing to The Florida Times-Union in a June 30 report. “I didn’t want it to make a spectacle. I want people to know where I am coming from.”
She declined to discuss their divorce, in which she had accused him of “disturbing and abusive behavior.” He claimed she locked him out of the master bedroom and installed surveillance devices in both his car and the children’s bedroom.
“I don’t see any good in airing our dirty laundry,” she reportedly said.
“Anyone with information about Henry Tenon as it relates to this crime is asked to contact the JBPD at 904-270-1661,” police wrote on Wednesday.
Bridegan was a software manager for Microsoft. A North Carolina native, his family moved to Jacksonville Beach, where he attended the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts for high school.
“He was a man of faith,” Adam Bridegan said. “That’s what he would want people to feel about him; how much he loved his faith, how much he loved his family.”
Note: We added more information from the press conference.
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