Man Who Killed Photographer Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

Photographer and activist Tyler Gerth

The man who fatally shot photographer Tyler Gerth during a protest following the death of Breonna Taylor has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Earlier this year, Steven Lopez pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and 22 counts of wanton endangerment for the shooting that killed 27-year-old photographer and activist Gerth.

On Tuesday, a judge sentenced Lopez to 30 years in prison following the prosecution’s recommendation.

Gerth was killed by Lopez as protestors gathered in Jefferson Square Park in downtown Louisville, Kentucky during the height of protests in the wake of Taylor’s shooting on June 27, 2020.

When Louisville Metro Police officers arrived at the scene around 21:00, they found Gerth in the middle of the park and the photographer was pronounced dead on the scene.

Video surveillance footage and several witnesses identified Lopez as the shooter who fired into a crowd.

According to WHAS11 News, Lopez spoke during the hearing and apologized for the shooting. He told Gerth’s family that it should have never happened.

“I cannot find enough words to convey how sorry I am,” Lopez says.

“To say how remorseful I am. Truly from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry,”

Lopez said he was convinced that he was about to die. He said he was “being bullied at the rally” but the prosecution disagreed with that statement.

During the hearing, Lopez said he hopes to turn his life around and live up to the man that Gerth was.

steven lopez sentenced 30 years prison shooting tyler gerth
Steven Lopez (above) has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for the fatal shooting of photographer Tyler Gerth.

On his Instagram page, Gerth had described himself as a world-traveling photographer who captured beauty as he journeyed through life.

In the weeks before his death, Gerth turned his attention from capturing the world’s beauty to using his camera to document the movement against racism and police brutality. Gerth had been at Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park to document the protests.

“While nothing will ever bring Tyler back and we will never truly have justice for him being taken from us, it’s an important step for Mr. Lopez to take responsibility for his actions and plead guilty to his crimes,” Gerth’s family said in a statement.

“We remain focused on carrying on Tyler’s memory through the works of Building Equal Bridges, the Tyler Gerth Foundation, by continuing in his legacy of compassion and generosity.”