Local News

Spokane community reacts to Gerlach charges

SPOKANE - Wash. - Gail Gerlach was charged for first degree manslaughter in the killing of Brandon Kaluza-Graham Wednesday, and one of Gerlach's neighbors thinks that the charge fits the crime.

Holly Greenland-Clare's children walk by Gerlach's home every weekday on the way to their bus stop. Greenland-Clare agrees with the first degree manslaughter charge because Gerlach wasn't in imminent danger when his car was stolen.

Gerlach reaction video

"Eight o'clock in the morning is when all those kids are walking to school," Greenland-Clare said. "What if that bullet wouldn't have got that other man in the head and got one of these kids?"

Some of Greenland-Clare's neighbors see the charge differently.

Down the road from Greenland-Clare's house is the home in which a dying Kaluza-Graham crashed Gerlach's car. Dan Wilson, a friend of the homeowner, thinks that the charge against Gerlach is a disgrace.

"I don't think it's fair," Wilson said. "I really don't, because the guy's protecting his own property."

The issue over whether or not to charge Gerlach in the shooting death of Kaluza-Graham has created a heated debate among KXLY4 viewers.

Most of the comments from the KXLY4 Facebook page lean on the "Gerlach should not be charged" side, such as that of Kimberly Poyner, who posted: "Don't agree with their decision. The thief deserved it, there's no excuse or reason to steal and run around causing problems in our city."

KXLY4 viewer Deborah Hale disagreed, posting, "He should be charged. You're not protecting yourself when you chase after your stolen vehicle. He should be tried."