CLEVELAND--Police arrested a Cleveland man accused of shooting into an SUV with a mother and three young children Sunday night, killing five-year-old Jermani Brooks.
"The Brooks family was not the target at all. They happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time," Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Police identified the suspect as 32-year-old Geoffrey Gurkovich.
"He is the boyfriend of a girl who made a report that evening regarding an aggravated menacing complaint. As a result of that complaint, he went looking for the person identified in that aggravated menacing complaint and decided he would just fire numerous rounds into this vehicle," McGrath said.
It happened just after 11 Sunday night on Cleveland's west side.
Police say Gurkovich was targeting a man who may have been at the home on Crossburn Avenue where the Brooks family was parked in the driveway in their SUV.
"The driver of the vehicle had gone onto the residence to collect some money that was owed to him. While he was inside the house, that's when the suspect drove up, saw the vehicle, got out of his car and indiscriminately fired those rounds into the vehicle," McGrath said.
Inside were Noni and three children: a two-month-old, and eight year-old and five-year-old Jermani.
"I heard about five to seven gunshots and I seen an SUV speeding down the street," neighbor, Tyler Piwinski, said.
Police say Gurkovich drove off from the scene.
Jermani was killed. Noni was hospitalized.
The two other children were not hurt.
Police say they tracked Gurkovich to a home in Newburgh Heights. He was arrested Tuesday morning without incident during a traffic stop.
"I'm just happy they caught him and I hope he suffers," Piwinski said.
Gurkovich, who has a criminal record, was charged with aggravated murder, Tuesday night.
A vigil in honor of Jermani will be held on Thursday, which would have been her sixth birthday.
A fund has been set up in Jermani’s name; a donation can be made at any KeyBank.