LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A picture is worth a thousand words, and Tyler Gerth’s pictures did most of his talking.
“His images were soft and precise, and that’s who he was,” Gerth’s sister Tiffany Hensley said.
On Tuesday, Hensley and her sister Brittany Loewen were able to see their brother’s photo album with their own eyes.
“It’s joy... it’s mixed,” Hensley said. “I see joy and happiness and love, but at the same time I see what this world has lost because he’s no longer here to take these images.”
Gerth’s family is still trying to process his death. Gerth was shot and killed Saturday night during protests at Jefferson Square Park. He had been attending the protests with his camera, taking pictures of the events and documenting Louisville’s fight for racial equality.
“We’re proud of him for being so brave and taking the time to go down there and truly having passion for that change and truly seeing another point of view other than his own,” Hensley said.
Hensley said her brother was fighting for a better life for his nephews, who are biracial. She said he wanted to be there even though there were risks associated with attending the protests.
“There was rumors of guns and violence that was going to happen that night,” Hensley said. “We just begged him, ‘Don’t go tonight, just give it a night and then go back again. Just one night off.' And he said, ‘You know, I just really feel like I need to be down there. I need to capture the moments and be a part of this cause, be a part of this change.‘”
Sympathy cards and flowers have built up in the Gerth family’s home, as they continue to receive support from many in the community. Gerth’s sisters said it helps comfort them, and lets them know though the shutter’s closed on their brother’s life, it hasn’t closed on his legacy.
“The very last text that I sent to him was that I know that God has big plans for you Tyler,” Loewen said. “And I never could’ve dreamed that this would be where those plans took us.”
A GoFundMe page has been established in Gerth’s name. His sisters told WAVE 3 News they plan to establish a non-profit organization in his name in the future.
Hensley said funeral arrangements for her brother will be kept private, but family is prepared to host a public celebration of life at a later date.