Jared Bridegan's ex-wife admits to wanting to 'shut him up': report

Jared Bridegan was gunned down Feb. 16 in front of his 2-year-old Bexley

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The ex-wife of slain Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan admitted that she asked a tattoo parlor employee in 2015 if he knew anyone who could "shut him up."

Fox News Digital had previously exclusively reported that Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, 35, made the statement about her ex-husband. In a more recent interview with a local newspaper, Gardner-Fernandez acknowledged having made the statement, but denied intending her then-husband any harm.

During the divorce, while the warring exes were still living under the same roof, she went to the Jacksonville-area tattoo shop to get a clitoris piercing and other services, according to records. 

The once-devout Mormon became a regular at the shop, stopping by to hang out, and made the comment during a dinner with one of the staffers.

FLORIDA EX-WIFE OF SLAIN MICROSOFT EXEC ALLEGEDLY WANTED TO SHUT HIM UP:' TATTOO STAFFER

Gardner-Fernandez told the Florida Times-Union that people say such things during "bitter" divorces.

A photo combination of Kirsten and Jared Bridegan with their daughter London and his ex-wife Shanna Gardner-Fernandez.

A photo combination of Kirsten and Jared Bridegan with their daughter London and his ex-wife Shanna Gardner-Fernandez. (Fox News Digital)

Bridegan, 33, was gunned down Feb. 16 after dropping off his 10-year-old twins he shares with Gardner-Fernandez at her home in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. 

He was in the car with his daughter Bexley, 2, from his second marriage to Kirsten Bridegan, when he encountered a tire on a wooded stretch of Sanctuary Blvd. 

As he stepped out of the car, an unknown assailant shot him and fled, according to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.

Shanna Gardner-Fernandez poses with her husband Mario Fernandez and her twins from her marriage to Jared Bridegan.

Shanna Gardner-Fernandez poses with her husband Mario Fernandez and her twins from her marriage to Jared Bridegan. (Facebook)

Bridegan and his ex-wife had been locked in near constant litigation since she filed for divorce in 2015 after allegedly having an affair, according to court records and sources. She denied that she was unfaithful.

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Gardner-Fernandez and her husband Mario Fernandez remain suspects in the murder, a law-enforcement source told Fox News Digital. Police have not publicly named a suspect.

Gardner-Fernandez is from a prominent Mormon family in Utah which financially supports her, according to court records. Her parents, Sterling and Shelli Gardner, founded Stampin' Up! – a paper craft company with an annual revenue of more than $100 million, according to IncFact.

A family portrait of Jared and Kirsten Bridegan.  

A family portrait of Jared and Kirsten Bridegan.   (Infinite Focus Photography/Madeline Insignares)

Gardner-Fernandez and her husband hired high-powered criminal defense lawyer Henry Coxe III, which was first reported by Fox News Digital. 

The attorney's only area of expertise is criminal law, according to the biography on his firm's website. Gardner-Fernandez told the local paper that she hired Coxe to help protect her family from publicity.

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Gardner-Fernandez said she initially didn't make any public comments out of respect for her ex-husband's current wife with whom he shares daughters Bexley, and 1-year-old London.

A poster announced a $55,000 reward for information about the unsolved murder of Jared Bridegan.

A poster announced a $55,000 reward for information about the unsolved murder of Jared Bridegan. (Jacksonville Beach Police Department)

But she said her friends and family are now being harassed. "It is becoming necessary to respond," she told the newspaper. "I want people to know where I am coming from."

She said her children are "scared, terrified and struggling." Gardner-Fernandez, who was not invited to her ex-husband's funeral, did not allow her twins to attend, according to reports.

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There is a $55,000 reward in the case, most of which came from private donations. Gardner-Fernandez and her family have not contributed to the fund, according to the victim's brother, Adam Bridegan. 

Anyone with information should contact the Jacksonville Beach Police Department at 904-270-1661 or First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS. A GoFundMe.com account has been set up for the Bridegan family.