Real Life Trolls Rising: Facebook Argument Turns into Deadly Shooting

ST LOUIS – A man was fatally shot by an off-duty St. Louis police officer after the two had been arguing on social media before the shooting. 20 year old Tyler Gebhard was killed Saturday after demanding entry to the officer’s home and threw a planter through a glass door. Gebhard had been dealing with mental illness.

The problem is, most interactions on social media are becoming the product of mental illness. Maybe this one guy had psychological problems and took it way to far. But more and more people are starting to do this. For many, social media is becoming the predominant form of “human” interaction. And that itself is mentally unhealthy.

Online, you can eviscerate someone and totally take them down with relative anonymity and few consequences. But the second that enters the physical world, it can become deadly. The more we deal with each other face to face, the more we understand the potential consequences of our actions. So put down your smartphone and talk to people.

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Police said Gebhard had made several threats to the officer’s family and other members of the community.

Nationally, tensions continue to rise between Black Lives Matter supporters and police officers, as a rash of tragedies unfolded for both groups over the last week, with Philando Castile’s and Alton Sterling’s police-involved killings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, respectively, leading up to a boiling point when five Dallas police officers were killed last Thursday.

Outraged Black Lives Matter protesters continue to march in demonstrations across the country, speaking out against police brutality in Baton Rouge, New York, St. Paul.

Meanwhile, police supporters have attacked Black Lives Matter, including former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh threatening “war” against the group, along with ex-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani calling the protesters “inherently racist.”

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