SPOKANE, Wash. -- People in the neighborhood where the shooting of Brendan Kaluza-Graham happened said they are relieved and happy the trial is over.
Gail Gerlach, 57, was found not guilty of manslaughter in the March 2013 shooting of 25-year-old Brendon Kaluza-Graham. Gerlach claimed the victim was trying to steal his SUV.
Those who did not know Gerlach said they are happy with this outcome. They feel that he was protecting his property and that Kaluza-Graham should not have stolen the car in the first place.
The neighborhood where the shooting took place is much different from the day of the shooting in 2013. The garage where the SUV ended up crashing has been replaced. Neighbors can begin to move on.
“I think justice has been served,” said neighbor Guy Higgens.
Higgens lives down the street from the Gerlach’s. He said he understands what Gerlach was thinking as his car was being stolen.
“Didn’t know him, but he’s protecting his own. If somebody pointed something in the dark, half daylight like that I would have done the same thing,” said Higgens.
Not everyone is pleased. James Young lives nearby and said he knew Kaluza-Graham’s family.
“The kid, he had a rough life most of his life. And he got into doing crime and probably a little bit of drugs here and there. He’s got to live with killing some kid. He’s only 20-years-old. It’s not worth killing someone over a car,” said Young.
Most of the neighbors KREM 2 News spoke with said they have been victims of crime in the neighborhood. Some of them hope this case will send a message to anyone thinking of trying to steal something in this area.