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'You Shot Me, Bro'

Tyler Gebhard was killed by a St. Louis County cop he knew, in a home where he was once welcome

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Lasley's gun, photographed as evidence on the family's kitchen table after the shooting. - COURTESY OF ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE
  • COURTESY OF ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE
  • Lasley's gun, photographed as evidence on the family's kitchen table after the shooting.

In the hours after Tyler Gebhard's death, St. Louis County detectives began their interviews. Josh Lasley agreed to speak in the presence of his attorney, as did his wife and in-laws.

Shortly after midnight, on the second floor of the county police headquarters in Clayton, he described rushing up the basement stairs and checking on his wife, kids and mother-in-law. He told the detective about grabbing his gun from his truck, running back inside and hearing the crash of a window shattering.

He described standing the kitchen of his wife's parents' house and pointing his gun at a family friend.

"I kept telling him just to get out, get out," Lasley says in the recorded interview. "He kept saying, 'You know who I am. I'm Tyler. You're not going to shoot me. I'm Jesus. Give me the gun.'"

Tyler Gebhard threw a heavy concrete block through the Boyd's window, police say. - COURTESY OF ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE
  • COURTESY OF ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE
  • Tyler Gebhard threw a heavy concrete block through the Boyd's window, police say.

Lasley claimed he fired only after Tyler lunged for the pistol, the bullet grazing his neck. Then Lasley pulled the trigger twice more. It did not fire, so he re-racked it. He claimed Tyler followed him as he backed around a kitchen table.

"You shot me, bro," Tyler said, according to Lasley. "Why did you do that? I'm Tyler."

Lasley shouted at him to get down. It was loud enough for their neighbor to hear, but Lasley claimed that Tyler kept coming.

"You can't kill me; I'm Jesus," he said, according to Lasley.

Tyler made one more lunge, Lasley claimed, and this time the gun did not malfunction.

Inside the house, police found three shell casings and a bullet that apparently ricocheted off the wall after grazing Tyler's neck. They circled the rooms, photographing anything that seemed relevant: a broken picture frame, Lasley's gun, Tyler's blood. A 100-pound hunk of concrete was lying in a pile of glass beneath a highchair next to the shattered window.

Dozens of officers filled the tiny neighborhood, and the St. Louis County police chief conducted an on-scene news conference. His comments were reported in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"I don't think the officer had a choice," he told reporters. "I honestly don't."

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