Continued Unrest: Why an Off-Duty Officer Shot This 20-Year-Old Football Player

Continued Unrest: Why an Off-Duty Officer Shot This 20-Year-Old Football Player

An online dispute over police brutality escalated to a deadly shooting.

Published July 11th

A former high school football star was shot and killed by an off-duty officer in South County, Missouri. 20 year-old Tyler Gebhard had engaged in an online dispute with the officer over the Black Lives Matter movement.

Gebhard’s uncle Patrick Brogan told St. Louis Post Dispatch that Gebhard and the officer had been engaged in a dispute over Facebook, even though Gebhard and the officer has recently become friends at a local church.

The online disagreement influenced Gebhard to go to the home of the officer. Gebhard, who had battled bipolar disorder for several years, went to the officer’s home one Saturday evening. After being met and refused at the door by the officer’s wife, Gebhard tossed a 50-pound concrete planter through the back window of the home.

The wife then took their infant and toddler to hide in another room while the officer approached the boy. After a few moments, the wife heard the officer say, “Get down, get down, get down,” and then shots were fired.

The officer, who has yet to be identified, has been placed on administrative leave with pay.

Gebhard was biracial and had sympathized with the ideas of the Black Lives Matter movement, yet he never participated in a protest. Although he often posted about the BLM movement on Facebook, Gebhard also shared picture on his page of a candle memorializing the fallen officers of Dallas.

Several tributes and memorial pages have been created for Gebhard. Many are remembering the positive and wonderful memories they had with the former athlete. 

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photos from top: Marilyn Nieves/Getty Images, Tyler Gebhard via Facebook)

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