Chief: Mother, Child in “Wrong Place at Wrong Time”

Family photo

Family photo

Family photo

Family photo

CLEVELAND – An arrest was made Tuesday in connection with the shooting death of a 5-year-old girl.

Jermani Brooks was shot in the head Sunday night while sitting in an SUV with her mother on Crossburn Avenue on Cleveland’s west side.

Noni Brooks, 33, was also shot in the head. She was upgraded to fair condition at MetroHealth Medical Center.

At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said the suspect is Geoffrey Gurkovich, 32.

He was arrested Tuesday morning in Newburgh Heights.

The chief said Gurkovich was the boyfriend of a 22-year-old woman who made a “domestic-type” report on Sunday. As a result of that complaint, he went looking for a person and decided to fire numerous rounds into the SUV.

Chief McGrath said Jermani and Noni were not the targets. They were “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Gurkovich, who has a criminal record, is expected to be charged Wednesday.

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.

Read more on the story.

Kara Sutyak January 21, 20143:06 pm

A press conference set to get under way any minute now in the death of a 5-year-old girl.

Kara Sutyak January 21, 20143:10 pm

Chief Michael McGrath: “We don’t take these things lightly.”

Kara Sutyak January 21, 20143:11 pm

Chief McGrath: “There was some type of domestic-type problem that led to the shooting”

Kara Sutyak January 21, 20143:11 pm

Chief McGrath: The suspect then fired on the 5-year-old; murdered the child and injured the mother.

Kara Sutyak January 21, 20143:12 pm

Chief McGrath: Able to track down the suspect in Newburgh Heights; suspect was placed under arrest for the homicide of the little girl.

Kara Sutyak January 21, 20143:14 pm

Chief: Suspect is 32-year-old Geoffrey Gurkovich– boyfriend of girl who made a report that evening; as a result of that complaint he went looking for a person and decided to fire numerous rounds. “Brooks family was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Kara Sutyak January 21, 20143:15 pm

Chief McGrath: No other arrests suspected at this time.

Kara Sutyak January 21, 20143:16 pm

Chief McGrath: Set up surveillance on suspect; he was taken into custody while driving.

Kara Sutyak January 21, 20143:17 pm

Chief McGrath: “This one– it looks like we’ve solved it; but there are other open cases and we need assistance from the community to solve those, too.”

Kara Sutyak January 21, 20143:18 pm

Suspect will be charged tomorrow (Wednesday.)

Kara Sutyak January 21, 20143:18 pm

Press conference has ended.