Photojournalist killed during civil rights protests honored at alma mater

June 27, 2022 marks two years since a Louisville photographer was killed while documenting the protests downtown.
Published: Jun. 26, 2022 at 11:10 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - June 27, 2022 marks two years since a Louisville photographer was killed while documenting the protests downtown.

Tyler Gerth was an unintended target when a man fired into the crowd at Jefferson Square Park.

Gerth was a Trinity High School graduate who has now been enshrined forever at his alma mater.

Sculpted in the bronze, resting on the bricks is the story of an ordinary man who fought for extraordinary change.

“This is where Tyler’s going to live indefinitely. This is where his story will play out.” said Gerth’s sister, Brittany Loewen.

Gerth told his story for 27 years through his camera lens.

Loewen says photography was her brother’s calling, his passion and that everyone knew it.

“I am so proud of him. I am so proud of his convictions and for the way he stood up for those convictions.” said Loewen.

Gerth went to Jefferson Square Park to document the protests, which turned deadly on June 27th 2020.

The photographer was shot and killed, after a man Louisville Metro Police say was kicked out of the park came back with a gun and started shooting.

“Tyler was just an everyday, average ordinary guy. But I think that’s what’s so powerful is that each and every one of us has the opportunity to make a difference. It doesn’t have to be some grand idea, and you don’t ultimately have to lose your life because of it. It can be as simple as reaching out to your neighbor or someone who maybe has different views than you do and really choosing to love them and choosing to be excellent to each other, which is what Tyler’s mantra was.” said Loewen.

A mantra his sisters have tried to live out through the Tyler Gerth Foundation, which gives scholarships and grants to people and organizations in need.

And while they give back to Louisville, Gerth’s family feels the city has reciprocated.

“It’s really special to see that right? To see it all come together and to feel so loved and so held by our community. It’s a very special thing.” said Loewen.

A relationship now made permanent, in the courtyard of Trinity High School.

“I rest at peace knowing where he is. It is a privilege to get to tell his story and to continue his legacy.” said Loewen.

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