LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Family and friends gathered on Friday to honor the life of Tyler Gerth.

Gerth, 27, was shot and killed on June 27 by a man who opened fire on protesters who regularly gather at Jefferson Square Park in Louisville.

His older sisters, Brittany Loewen, and Tiffany Hensley, spoke with Spectrum News 1 earlier in the week and said their brother had felt inspired by the protests and continued to photograph the events.

On Friday, at St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church, Loewen addressed gathered mourners.

“The ability to reflect on himself, to grow, to change, to mature, to do better,” she said. “But not just to do better, but to be excellent to each other. That was Tyler’s mantra.”

Fr. Shayne Duvall spoke of Gerth’s conviction and the causes to which he had become attached.

“Unfortunately, I do not have the power or the authority to officially declare Tyler a martyr or a canonized saint of the church,” he said. “That’s up to Pope Francis. You can start writing him if you’d like.”

Duvall continued to say that the current unrest in the world could not be the best God had to offer and that Gerth was an example to others in the fight for justice.

“The work and perseverance of Tyler Gerth must continue if we are going to seek justice and reform, mercy, forgiveness, love, and peace,” he said. Duvall then read scripture. “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” 

“And Tyler has earned that reward.”

The Gerth family has set up a GoFundMe page to disperse any donations to causes Tyler held most dear.