Tyler Gerth’s loved ones say they hope his death is a “catalyst for peace.”
4 min read
The suspect behind Saturday’s fatal shooting in Louisville, Kentucky, has been arrested.
Steven Nelson López was detained by police after being caught in a surveillance video that opened fire in Jefferson Square Park during a protest against the death of Breonna Taylor.
López will be charged with murder, according to authorities.
On Saturday night, López shot at the crowd of protesters and fatally wounded a photographer, Tyler Gerth, 27, who died on the spot despite the help of paramedics.
Another protester was also injured, and López was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
“I am deeply saddened by the violence that erupted in Jefferson Square Park tonight, where those who have been voicing their concerns gathered,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement Saturday night. “It is a tragedy that this peaceful protest area is now a crime scene. Thank you to the first responders who helped on the scene.”
López had previously attended protests in the park and was arrested twice before for riots, according to Louisville police.
Saturday’s protest was in response to the shooting death of Taylor by Louisville police in March, when officers executing a search warrant without hitting shot her in her sleep.
“While most of the protesters in the park have been peaceful, things changed last night when gunshots rang out in the park, leaving one dead and one dead,” the Louisville Metro Police Department said in a statement Sunday by the morning. “We are now cleaning the park and it will remain clear.”
Gerth’s family released a statement on Sunday afternoon.
“Tyler Gerth (27), was a beloved son, beloved little brother, uncle adored by seven nieces and nephews, and a trusted friend. We are devastated that his life has been taken from us too soon,” the family said, according to Louisville ABC. WHAS affiliate. “Tyler was incredibly kind, tender and generous, with deep convictions and faith. It was this sense of justice that led Tyler to be part of the peaceful protests that advocate for the destruction of systemic racism within the systems of our society.” .
Relatives said that despite their anguish, “they pray that his death will be a turning point and a catalyst for peace in the city he loved so much.”