Shooting Justified? Off-Duty Police Officer Shoots, Kills Home Invader After Online Argument

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An off-duty St. Louis County police officer shot and killed a 20-year-old black man last Saturday after the man broke into the officer’s home in the wake of an online argument about Black Lives Matter.

Tyler Gebhard – a former football standout from Affton High School – made Facebook threats to the officer’s family and “uninvolved members of the community” after an argument erupted between the two men over the Black Lives Matter movement, according to local authorities and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Gebhard arrived at the officer’s home shortly before 6 p.m. and, when the officer’s wife would not let him past the front door, threw a 50-pound planter through the back door window. Gebhard entered the residence as the officer’s wife, mother-in-law, and two young children tried to escape, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said.

The officer’s family told police they heard the officer tell Gebhard to “get down, get down, get down,” and then heard several shots fired, Belmar said. Gebhard died of two gunshot wounds to the chest.

“I don’t think the officer had a choice — I honestly don’t,” Belmar told reporters on Saturday evening, labeling the situation “a very difficult position to be in.”

Local authorities have yet to release the exact content of the threats, but St. Louis County police Officer Benjamin Granda told the Post-Dispatch that “(The Facebook posts are) erratic, sporadic, and some are very threatening and menacing. They’re all over the place. It puts on display the type of mental and/or emotional crisis he was going through.”

Authorities and Gebhard’s family attribute his actions to mental health issues, specifically bi-polar disorder, for which he was taking medication. “He had a lot of mental problems the last few months,” Patrick Brogan, Gebhard’s uncle, told the Post-Dispatch. “A lot of difficulties in life.”

Gebhard’s family also confirmed with police that he suffered from schizophrenia and that he had a history of not taking his medications. “He was like a normal 20-year-old, (the family) had to stay on him to take his medication,” Brogan said.

“From conversations with the family through ongoing investigation, this is all abnormal behavior for Tyler,” Granda said.

Though Brogan said his nephew never participated in a Black Lives Matter protest, he did support the movement. The Post-Dispatch reports that some of Gebhard’s posts “devolve into heated arguments and warnings of a ‘race war,’” while other posts are “conciliatory, calling for black and white people to come together.”

One thread, in which many of the comments had been deleted, ends with Gebhard saying, “Look man you better leave me alone or imma come looking for yoy [sic].” It is unclear to whom this comment was directed, though it was made the Friday morning before the incident.

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Mark D. December 9, 2016, 9:24 pm

    Great Job..!!!…he got EXACTLY what he deserved…break into my home, and you’ll be laying right next to that mental case…

  • JACK WHEELER December 9, 2016, 12:47 pm

    GOOD RIDDANCE TO A PREDITOR, HE WON’T DO IT AGAIN!

  • Andrew N. July 21, 2016, 11:18 pm

    The shooting was NOT justified! Yes, the victim was crazy and on a dangerous rampage, but you also have to realize that he was Black! The off duty officer was White! Therefore, it was a criminal action. If you don’t believe me, go ask President Obama or Eric Holder, former Attorney General. They’ll side with me!

  • Johnny July 20, 2016, 10:37 am

    The Shooter is justified. It would be a sorry person that would not protect/defend his family and property!

  • el bull July 15, 2016, 9:50 pm

    How do we know he wasn’t shot outside and then dragged inside with the cop throwing the planter himself and then concocting/coaching the story with his family?

    • Larry July 16, 2016, 9:52 am

      Are you really that stupid?

      • John lewis July 18, 2016, 11:37 am

        Could not have said it better + I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6!!!

    • Duane Davis July 18, 2016, 7:55 am

      We don’t, but the fact he was even there after openly threatening in public,. shows intent to harm.
      I’m more concerned why a Officer was bantering online with anyone in social media or why his home was known when he has a family. This is not about race … it;s about stupidity on both sides. One disturbed individual deceased and one family left to ponder the rest of their lives why… those children are scarred forever by this. I hope that officer is as well. Don’t make race an issue. in your life. Look at Chicago, is that race related? or just the finality of how you are raised?
      In the end we all die but when you separate your thoughts by the color of skin or the border you reside or perceived notion of respect,, you are already dead inside.

    • Mark December 9, 2016, 12:45 pm

      We have know way of knowing for sure if what you think might have happened occurred, but we do know for certain that you will likely never break into the double digits on an IQ test.

  • Larry Koehn July 15, 2016, 7:31 pm

    Just one more dead dirtbag! What is the big deal? Even if he was purple he would still be just another dead dirtbag!

  • Mikial July 15, 2016, 5:11 pm

    I love how the media has to immediately point out the home invader was black. What difference does that make? If someone came to my home making threats and then smashed their way into my home putting my family at risk, their race, religion or gender wouldn’t matter in the least.

  • gonzo gonzales July 15, 2016, 2:49 pm

    I read this to say that the “intruder” was not in full control of hi faculties –
    that he was “mentally unbalanced” –
    read my lips, people
    an “unbalanced ” idiot will kill you just as dead as a sane one.
    if my family is concerned, I won’t take a chance. he be dead.

  • Alan Yates July 15, 2016, 1:09 pm

    Imprimus: He was not a “black” man. He was of mixed race and that has absolutely zero bearing on his death. He was mentally off the beam and refused to take medications that calmed him…He died breaking into a citizen’s home “in a violent and tumultuous manner.” No matter if the man did piss him off on Facebook. What else needs to be known of this? That he was mixed race or that the other party was a cop is nonsensical. Any of us, if our family is endangered by such, would do anything and everything we could to defend them.

  • Robert C Robertson July 15, 2016, 11:52 am

    This is another black dead man who is not for Obama would probably still be alive. Black Lives Matter is nothing more than a match is being used to start a fire. Obama needs an excuse for martial law and this is only one of the means he plans to do it.

    A person breaks in the my home and poses a threat to my family he is just voluntarily given up his life. Just like the sign says TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT, survivors will be shot again.

    This BLACK is pure bull shi$ and is not just happening in the United States. Blacks Are Killing Blacks all over the world. They are killing each other simply because they live on different streets or belong to a different tribe. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re in Somalia or in Chicago. Or other human beings continue to be at least civilized the black race in general seems to be regressing back to tribal customs and cultures. Where other humans are walking away from the trees Blacks are not only heading towards the trees but they’re doing so at a dead run. Cocoa the gorilla is smarter than 60% of this black lives matter crowd and Blacks in general. At least she is becoming more civilized while they are becoming less civilized.

    Ferguson was only a reversal all of these demonstrations have been staged by this administration and bigots like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and even more so Louis Farrakhan. These men and I use that word extremely loosely gain their personal wealth and power by perpetuating racist hatred and anyone with half a brain, that leaves out 40% of the demonstrators, realizes that when the shooting starts these men are going to be no place to be found. It’s perfectly okay with them that it has some black lives are wholesale he killed. In fact men like these have already proven what they think of the black community.
    They support and openly praise Black Genocide Taking Place in the United States Of America. These men who seem to think that they are heroes to the black community idly stand by while 425,000 to 450,000 Blacks are murdered in America every year.
    A war is coming and I really see no way of preventing. This administration is presented with two choices.
    Choice number one is that when the new president is sworn in and Obama is kicked out of office he and his compatriots will be put on trial, convicted, and sent to prison for the crimes of committed over the last eight years. This is not Obama’s idea of a good plan or choice.
    Choice number two and unfortunately I believe this is Obama’s plan. Dissolve the court system get rid of Congress after the Constitution and the Bill of Rights out the window. Between now and January Obama is going to stage what amounts to an armed coup. He’s got his troops in place; Homeland Security, which will take over the duties of local, county, and state police, TSA will shutdown the airports and every other type of transportation to prevent Americans from traveling and prevented delivery of supplies to any group disagrees with Obama. The NSA basically has control of communications between Americans and will identify for the kill squads their targets basically anybody who disagrees. He already controls the media and in a major role our medical facilities. He controls the movement of wealth and can illuminate personal property. (This is only his American contingent)

    He’s been bringing Syrian train militia a.k.a. terrorists into the United States and estimates are as high as 100,000 have been disbursed to major cities throughout the nation. He’s been allowing Muslim terrorists come into our country across the southern border and is even one so far as to pay for airfare for these terrorists coming into the country from the Middle East.
    He has stockpile arms and ammunition that no one seems to know anything about. Remember all the ammunition and guns he bought the problem is it was never issued to the military. The automatic pistols and ammunition that was charged to the Department of Education was never issued. The bad thing is no one knows where this stockpile is being stored, no one admits to having responsibility for security it seems to just disappeared.
    Find where he places the Syrians and you will know where the arms and ammunition are being stored.

    And for the icing on the cake he has the bottom feeding ignorant people like black lives matter and the Black Panthers as cannon fodder. Stupid people who we doesn’t have any respect for and has even less use for.

    • Z July 15, 2016, 2:39 pm

      1) There is nothing overt about your racism.
      2) Proof read your diatribe before posting it.
      3) Adjust the strap on your tinfoil hat, it’s cutting off blood flow to your brain.

  • Guido July 15, 2016, 11:16 am

    Color has no bearing when your family is at home and someone tries breaking in……especially throwing a large planter through the glass door, and after multiple warnings to “Get down”. Perhaps, the officer should have welcomed him a bowl of weed instead of a gun.

  • Russell July 15, 2016, 10:26 am

    So, do we need to have a diagnosis of someone’s mental health prior to defending our family from a felonious home invader?

  • Ranger Rick July 15, 2016, 10:16 am

    Hey Jordan, you tell me? I’m sure that the last thing you would do to protect your family after a nut job throws a 50 lbs. planter through the back door and tries to come in is shoot him?

    Perhaps you have world class negotiating skills? Or maybe you would just let him in to see what happens?

    Let’s do a little thinking before putting “words to paper”.

  • lloyd 193 July 15, 2016, 10:11 am

    Another deranged internet Darkey bites the dust.

  • SGT. Pop July 15, 2016, 9:54 am

    The fact the author put a ? question mark behind “Shooting Justified ?” makes him part of the problem to me…. Just typical media.

  • Mike July 15, 2016, 4:40 am

    Black, white, brown or yellow – break into my home and I will shoot you dead.

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