An off-duty cop fatally shot a Black Lives Matter sympathizer who broke into his home over the weekend, police say.
Tyler Gebhard was killed by the St. Louis County cop Saturday after police say he threw a concrete planter through the officer's back door in the culmination of an argument that began on Facebook.
The cop, who the St. Louis County PD has not named, was at home with his wife, mother-in-law and two kids when cops say Gebhard broke in.
The two men reportedly knew each other through church and got into an argument following the recent tensions surrounding suspicious police-involved shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana as well as the sniper killings of five cops in Dallas.
The suspect made a series of threats in prior days and hours leading up to the incident. These threats were from the suspect to the family as well as uninvolved members of the community. The suspect arrived unannounced at the officer’s relative’s home.
(1/2) At appx 5:50p an off-duty St. Louis County police officer was involved in a shooting after a suspect broke into his home in Lakeshire.— St. Louis County PD (@stlcountypd) July 10, 2016
According to a statement from police, Gebhard — who is biracial — "made a series of threats in prior days and hours leading up to the incident."
"These threats were from the suspect to the family as well as uninvolved members of the community. The suspect arrived unannounced at the officer’s relative’s home," the statement reads.
Police say the officer's family barricaded themselves in a room and called 911 while the officer gave Gebhard "a series of verbal commands," which Gebhard ignored, according to the officer.
(2/2) The suspect, who was known to the family, demanded entry & threw a planter through a glass door. pic.twitter.com/dnDmNRmgEZ— St. Louis County PD (@stlcountypd) July 10, 2016
Police say Gebhard advanced further into the home and "fearing for his life and the lives of the others in the home, the off-duty officer shot the suspect."
Gebhard was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The officer has been placed on paid leave as the incident is investigated.
Gebhard's uncle told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his nephew went to the officer's house bent on a physical altercation but was met with a gun.
"He walked over there and into a gunfight," the uncle, Patrick Brogan said. "When he got there, he was met with a gun and the guy killed him."
Brogan also said his nephew, once a celebrated high school athlete, was in a years-long battle with bipolar disorder.