Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Suspect in Gay Murder Arrested in North Texas Homicide; Confesses to the Crime

Nathanael Gehrer, confessed to the murder of Carrollton gay man, Dustin Reeb. [Police mugshot]

Nathanael Gehrer, confessed to the murder of Carrollton gay man, Dustin Reeb. [Police mugshot]

Carrollton, Texas – A 25-year-old suspect has been arrested in the murder of a gay community theater mainstay, and has confessed to the crime.  Carrollton Police spokesman, Officer Jon Stovall, told the Dallas Voice that the crime “was not a random attack.”  In a statement released to the press, the Carrollton Police Department says: “The Carrollton Police Department has charged Nathanael Gehrer, a 25-year-old resident of Wilmer, Texas with the November 30, 2012 murder of [a] Carrollton resident. The victim, believed to be 22-year-old Dustin Reeb, has not yet been positively identified by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office due to alias names that he had been using. The offense occurred inside the victim’s residence in the 2100 block of Placid Drive. Gehrer was arrested by Carrollton Detectives on December 4, 2012 and is currently being held in the Carrollton Municipal Jail. It is believed that Gehrer had been a social acquaintance of the victim.”

The murder victim, Dustin Reeb, aka Shaun Walsh, a well-known and highly respected member of the Dallas community theater community, was found in his Carrollton home by his housemate on Friday evening, brutally murdered. The scene prompted Reeb’s pastor, the Rev. Colleen Darraugh, to report that blood was spattered throughout the home, damaging clothing and furnishings, and requiring massive cleanup.  Rev. Darraugh and the members of the Metropolitan Community Church of Greater Dallas, a Carrollton congregation attended by both Reeb and his housemate, has organized a fund to help defray the costs of the cleanup and the purchase of new furniture.  Darraugh told the Dallas Voice that knives were apparently used in the fatal attack.

A search of online court documents done by Dallas Voice reporters shows that Gehrer had been previously arrested for crimes such as trespassing, assault, and theft.  He had lived at a series of addresses in Dallas, including an address on Cedar Springs Road, in the heart of the gay community.

The North Texas gay community still awaits answers to nagging questions about the motive for the murder, which has shaken Carrollton, but barely received any coverage in the regional or statewide press.  The absence of this coverage prompts its own set of hard questions.  The Rev. Ed Middleton, pastor of First Community United Church of Christ, posted a comment on the Dallas Voice Instant Tea blog noting that virtually no press coverage on this crime has gone on beyond the work done by the Voice.  “Anyone wondering where the rest of the Dallas media is?” Middleton writes. “My God, they can spend five nights on the disapperance of some random person and drag the family before the cameras to get as many sobs as viewers can take, but let a basically good kid get savagely attacked and murdered and not a peep.”  The Dallas Voice promises more revelations on this case by Friday.

December 6, 2012 - Posted by | anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Beatings and battery, gay men, GLBTQ, LGBTQ, Media Issues, stabbings, Texas | , , , , , ,


  1. I want to thank the Dallas voice. …. I’m the mother of Dustin Reeb and you are right no one else reported on the horrifically barbaric murder of my son. ….. he was one of a kind and i miss him every day. …. are you ready for the kicker. .. his murderer only got 40 years. .. he will be eligible to come up for parole after 20 years. …. he stabbed my son 16 times and he had 36 injuries from a baseball bat. .. my son deserved better treatment then that. .. better justice and for his sorry to have been told by more than the Dallas voice. .. so i say thank you again for letting me know my son was somebody and newsworthy. ….Karen doss-reeb

    Comment by karen doss-reeb | January 1, 2014

  2. It saddens me that Dustin’s (Shaun’s) private life was even mentioned relating to this unconscionable ordeal. It had nothing to do with this. Just another way for The Dallas Voice to get a scoop. Like Dustin’s mom said, “..he deserved better treatment [than] that.. better justice..”. The reason the cold-blooded murderer got a plea deal of 40 years, possible parole in 20 years, is because the Carrollton Texas Police Department violated the Miranda rights of the murderer. They got his confession before his attorney arrived to advise him. The judge dismissed all evidence and the confession due to this. This was a major cover up between the Carrollton Police, and the District Attorney’s office. Someone at the DA’s office slipped and told Dustin’s mom why this horrid person didn’t get the Death Penalty for what he did. It wasn’t bad enough what this monster did to Dustin, he also stole over $10,000.00 worth of property from our home. And the barbaric things that were done to Dustin, caused over $20,000.00 in damage to the structure, clothing, furniture, etc. Had it not been for MCCGD, and friends, I don’t know what I would have done. I still have not financially recovered from this horrible ordeal. The insurance capped and depreciated the jewelry. The structure was depreciated as well. I was out of my home for 5 weeks so that the mess was cleaned up (took 3 men, 3 hours to clean), and my room and hallway remodeled. It has been nearly 2 years, and I am still grieving. I was the one who found my precious Dustin murdered in my bedroom, which automatically made me a suspect, although the CPD told The Dallas Voice, I wasn’t ever considered one. I was certainly treated like a suspect. I left the CPD wearing nothing by my under ware, a disposable orange jumper, and some filthy sandals they found , so that I could have something on my feet as I left the police station. I have not worn those clothes since. They are still sealed in the evidence bags. Because I wasn’t related by marriage or blood, I basically had no rights. I suffered a great loss financially and due to the way Texas law is written, I am not eligible for any compensation, although I was Dustin’s Care Giver. I supported him, fed him, entertained him, and made sure he was in what I thought to be a safe place. The Texas system also failed because this monster shouldn’t have been loose based on the recent crimes before he barbarically murdered Dustin.

    I filed a complaint with the CPD Internal Affairs, and was basically told that “They did nothing wrong.” and they refused to even apologize for giving the monster a free stay at Club Fed at the taxpayer’s expense. I will be starting a petition to the Parole Board to demand that this monster spend ALL of the 40 years locked up. We have not received justice, Dustin has not received justice; all due to what I believe to be the gross incompetence of the CPD. They promised and assured us this was an iron-clad/open-shut case, and that all the Ts crossed and the Is dotted, and they failed us. I have witnesses and pictures that will back up what I believe to be true.

    Comment by Tony Schmidt | November 20, 2014

    • I also wanted to state that the reason it took the Tarrant Count Medical Examiner so long to identify his body was due to Nathanael Lee Gehrer beat Dustin 36 times; thus disfiguring his face beyond all recognition. I actually didn’t know who it was for several minutes after I pulled the comforter that was concealing his body, off of him. I could tell it was Dustin by his clothes ( I know because I did his laundry for nearly 3 years), and by his distinctive eyebrows. We had to wait until dental records were located in order for Dustin’s body to be identified. The Texas Justice System Failed Dustin, they failed us all.

      Comment by Tony Schmidt | November 20, 2014

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