Cop Shoots Home Invader After Black Lives Matter Dispute Online

St. Louis County chief says officer had no choice
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2016 1:30 AM CDT
Police released this photo of where Gebhard allegedly threw a concrete planter into the officer's home.   (St. Louis County Police)

(Newser) – A Missouri man ended up dead after he tried to follow up a Facebook argument about Black Lives Matter with real-life violence, police say. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says an off-duty officer shot 20-year-old Tyler Gebhard dead after he threw a 50-pound concrete planter through the officer's window and forced his way into the home after the officer's wife refused to let him in, ABC News reports. The officer's mother-in-law and two young children were also home at the time. "I don't think the officer had a choice—I honestly don't," Belmar said after the Saturday evening shooting, which followed online threats.

Gebhard, who was biracial, knew the officer through a church connection, according to Gebhard's uncle, Patrick Brogan. Brogan tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch his nephew had struggled with bipolar disorder for years and that his mental health went further downhill when he was at Southeast Missouri State University last year. He says Gebhard didn't always take his medication. "He had a lot of mental problems the last few months," Brogan says. "A lot of difficulties in life." He says there are police officers in Gebhard's own extended family. "We are sick for both families because it was senseless," the uncle says. "It was a senseless death." The officer has been placed on leave while the incident is being investigated. (Read more Missouri stories.)

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