A Philadelphia father was shot and killed during a carjacking last Thursday while trying to protect his two-year-old daughter.
Gerard Grandzol was returning home from Lemon Hill after a long day of playing frisbee with his young daughter and the family dog. Upon arriving at his home on Melon Street, police say the father was met by two carjackers who threatened him at gunpoint.
Sources say the two suspects first asked for Grandzol's wallet, followed by his car. It was also reported that Grandzol had told the two his daughter was inside. The two suspects then shot Grandzol twice in the face before fleeing on foot, dropping his wallet and escaping on the SEPTA line at Fairmount.
According to bystanders, the two were laughing as they fled.
"They wanted the car and he wouldn't give up the car and they shot him for it," Police Homicide Captain John Ryan said while speaking at a news conference outside of police headquarters.
According to NBC Philadelphia, first responders arrived to find Grandzol's young daughter crying in the backseat. A neighbor named Brendan Fernald said he rushed over to help the dying man after the shooting.
"I jumped down and started putting pressure on his wounds. Then, scooping the blood out of his mouth so he could breathe," said Fernald. About 90 minutes later, Grandzol succumbed to his wounds at a local hospital.
Over the weekend authorities announced that Maurice Roberts, 21, and his 16-year old brother, Marvin, were arrested and charged in connecting with the crime.
Grandzol was a St. Joseph University alum who was reportedly highly involved in his community. According to NBC Philadelphia, he volunteered for Project HOME, served on a neighborhood organization and belonged to many civic groups. One of Grandzol's neighbors said, "We called him the mayor," adding, "He engaged himself with everyone he met. That was remarkable. I'll miss him so much."
"Gerry was loved by everyone who had the privilege to know him, not just as a colleague, but as a force of nature who loved life. We will always remember him as a leader, philanthropist, proud father, loving husband and good friend," said co-worker and Special Counsel president Laurie Chamberlin.
Grandzol leaves behind a wife and two children, including his toddler daughter and a 5-week old infant.
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