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This was an old issue with vertical rays and the gpu_ray plugin: https://bitbucket.org/osrf/gazebo/issues/946/gpu-ray-sensor-vertical-ranges

There is a fix now for the gpu_ray plugin by Jacob Seibert which has been merged to Gazebo 7.14 (and newer Versions): https://bitbucket.org/osrf/gazebo/pull-requests/2955/fix-gpuraysensor-vertical-rays/diff

If you are working with ROS there is also an ROS velodyne_simulator package using the gpu_ray: http://wiki.ros.org/velodyne_simulator

There has been a fix to the ROS velodyne_simulator package aswell because of the vertical gpu_ray issue: https://bitbucket.org/DataspeedInc/velodyne_simulator/pull-requests/6/add-gpu-powered-version-of-velodyne-sensor/diff