JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Shanna Gardner spoke exclusively to Action News Jax in June 2022 about five months after her ex-husband’s murder and more than a year before her arrest. Some of the interview aired at the time. The following is never-before-seen footage of that interview.
“I hope that we can find the person that did this so that justice can be served,” Gardner said.
At the time, she told us she was cooperating with investigators.
“We have interviewed with detectives. We we’ve cooperated with law enforcement,” Gardner said. “We have answered all their questions in detail willingly because we don’t have anything to hide.”
In February 2022, Jared Bridegan was driving down a dark road in a quiet neighborhood in Jacksonville beach. Police say a tire was left in the street. When Bridegan got out of his car to move it, he was shot and killed. A neighbor’s camera captured the sound of shots fired that night.
A few months later, Shanna Gardner told Action News Jax she felt sorry for everyone involved.
“I really am sad. I’m sad for his family, sad for John’s family, for his kids. I’m sad because this isn’t something that anybody should have to go through. I would never want anybody to experience what we’ve all been experiencing,” Gardner said.
Gardner shared custody of their two kids with Jared. The night of his murder, he dropped them off at her home, and drove a few blocks before prosecutors say he was ambushed.
When asked why she thinks the murder happened so close to her home? Gardner answered, “I honestly have no idea. I couldn’t speculate on that. I think that it’s unfortunate that it happened anywhere, wherever, wherever things like this happen. And I really feel for everybody that has been affected by this.”
At that time, Gardner told us she had no plans to leave Jax Beach.
“No. No, this is this kind of all my kids know. They love it here. We have a community here that that has put their arms around us over the last what eight years. Right now, more than anything they need stability and staying here is that stability,” Gardner said.
But months later, she left Florida moving to the other side of the country in rural Washington state.
While she lived there, police arrested Henry Tenon, who lived in a home owned by Shanna’s new husband. Tenon pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against the others being prosecuted. He is awaiting sentencing. Police also zeroed in on Gardner’s new husband, Mario Fernandez Saldana accusing him of hiring Tenon.
In August, Gardner was arrested in Washington. Late last month, she was brought back to Florida to face charges of first-degree murder, solicitation to commit a capital felony, and conspiracy to commit murder. She’s also facing a charge of child abuse because Jared’s young daughter was in the car when he was gunned down.
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“If anybody knows anything, go to law enforcement,” Gardner said.
But in 2022, Shanna said she wanted justice for Jared, showing no signs that her own arrest, prosecution, and potential conviction could be a big part of ensuring that justice is served.
“Honestly, it makes me sad. People don’t think that these things happen and when they do, follow the protocol and they’ll find whoever did this. It makes me sad for everybody that’s involved, for Jared’s family, for his kids,” Gardner said.