When push came to shove, a Black Lives Matter supporter got violent and tried to break into the home of a cop, after arguing on FB. The cop decided to protect his homestead.
An off-duty St. Louis County police officer shot and killed a man who tried to enter his home in Lakeshire in South County on Saturday afternoon, according to police.
The intruder was a 20-year-old man known to the family who had recently made threats toward the family and “uninvolved members of the community” on Facebook, police said Saturday night.
Police Sunday morning identified the intruder as Tyler Gebhard, 20, of the 7900 block of Navajoe Street in the Affton area.
An uncle, Patrick Brogan, 57, of Waterloo, said Gebhard became acquainted with the county police officer through a church connection.
Brogan said his nephew, a former Affton High School football standout, suffered from bi-polar disorder.
According to Brogan, the officer and Gebhard had been arguing on Facebook about Black Lives Matter. Gebhard, who was biracial, empathized with the group’s objectives but did not actively participate in protests, Brogan said.
Family members told Brogan the disagreement between the two men culminated with Gebhard traveling from Affton to Lakeshire late Saturday afternoon.
“He walked over there and into a gunfight,” Brogan said, drawing on accounts offered by friends of his nephew. “When he got there he was met with a gun and the guy killed him.”
Brogan said Gebhard periodically stopped taking medication.
“He was like a normal 20-year-old, (the family) had to stay on him to take his medication,” Brogan said.
The uncle said the disorder worsened during Gebhard’s first year at Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau.
“He had a lot of mental problems the last few months,” Brogan said of the 2014 Affton High graduate. “A lot of difficulties in life.”
Gebhard had football profiles on several prep sites.
Several members of Gebhard’s extended family are in law enforcement, Brogan said.
Nikki Toal, a family friend who also resides in Waterloo, described Gebhard as a “wonderful kid.”
“He was a sweetheart,” Toal told a reporter outside the family’s Affton home. “The nicest person you could ever meet.”
The 2015 Southeast Missouri State spring football roster lists Gebhard as a 6 foot, 1-inch, 220-pound fullback.
The Affton School District website notes that Gebhard was a 2014 recipient of the Howard Foundation of St. Louis Scholarship, awarded by the United Negro College Fund.