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Former Girlfriend of Murder Suspect Speaks Out

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CLEVELAND-- The man accused of shooting a mother and daughter, killing the five-year-old, faced a judge Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, one of his former girlfriends tells FOX 8 that the suspect told her, he did not mean to do it.

Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Charles Patton, Jr. set bond at $5 million for Geoffrey Gurkovich, 32.

He is charged with aggravated murder in the shooting death of Jermani Brooks and is accused of shooting her mother, Noni Brooks, 33, who survived.

"Inside that vehicle was a woman and three children. Tragically, because of his thoughtless actions, a five-year-old girl is now dead; her mother is in the hospital; and she's lost the use of her right eye. Her left eye is swollen shut at this time," said Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Brian Murphy, while addressing the court.

Cleveland police said on Sunday night, Gurkovich opened fire on an SUV parked in a driveway on Crossburn Avenue on the city's west side, after someone had threatened his girlfriend. They said the Brooks family was not his intended target.

"It makes this no less horrible, no less tragic. He went to that location with that gun with the intention to shoot that gun, your honor, and that makes him all the more a danger to the public," said Murphy.

"He's denied his involvement. It's an ongoing investigation, so it wouldn't be appropriate for me to comment any further," said Defense Attorney Ralph DeFranco.

"He's always been like so helpful with anything I need," said one of Gurkovich’s former girlfriends, Courtney Erb.

Erb, 24, said she dated Gurkovich for about eight months when she was 18. She said he called her the day after the shooting.

"I was like 'what did you do?' He was like, I can't tell you. I don't want to talk about it, but watch the news," she said.

Erb said she immediately went online and learned what Gurkovich was talking about.

"He called me back a little bit after and I was like, 'please do not even tell me. I was like that you knew there was a mother and child in that car.' He was like, 'you know me better than that.' I was like 'I know,'" said Erb.

Gurkovich has a long criminal record mostly for domestic violence. Erb said he wanted to become a mechanic and provide for his children.

"It surprises me, yes, because he was just so adamant on, like, wanting to do better and didn't want to go back and he wanted to like, actually create a life and establish a life for himself, which he was taking the steps to do," said Erb.

Community members were holding a vigil for Jermani Brooks Thursday evening and released pink balloons in her memory.

Balloons released in honor of Jermani Brooks on 1/23/14

Balloons released in honor of Jermani Brooks on 1/23/14

Today would have been her sixth birthday.

Read more on this story HERE.

10 comments

  • May

    Are we suppose to feel some kind of sympathy for this idiot because he shot the wrong person? He went there to do harm to someone, so regardless, his behind needs to be locked up.

  • Toni

    Why do you even do these stories….who cares what his former girlfriend says he “wanted to do with his life, make things better for his children…BULL!!! The fact is, he went to that home with the intent of shooting someone, and an innocent child was killed and an innocent women injured. I’m so sick of people sticking up for these thugs!!! Throw him in prison and make him suffer..that baby’s picture should hang in his cell for the rest of his sorry life!!!

  • A good friend

    This is not a killer infront of u this is a great man with a bad history so many he said she said stories. He would never hurt a child ????? is there proof he did it no a truck that people described how may trucks that are green out there hmmmm , But no his fatal attraction girlfiend at the time says he did it when supposedly he was trying to protect her but she turns him in lil fishy to me . If he really did it than he knows death is right behind him but in my heart and in others that know this man we know he is innocent … but everybody don’t know him the story behind it or facts just what everybody on here is saying cause if u read all the stories off different pages and news sites it is all not the same it changes day to day page to page so there for he is INNOCENT to proven GULITY everybody is sooooooo quick to judge someone its sicking honestly

      • Diane Stella O'Donnell

        I am so against the death penalty but in this situation, I have no mercy for this loser killer. Just because you know him, doesn’t make him innocent. There were eye witnesses. I hope he experiences the worst life has to offer, he would deserve it. Look at the beautiful girl. She had the right to live her life. A great man, are you kidding me?

  • nique

    Y Idiot @ a good friend. That mf deserves to die in the worst way humanly possible. I hope he gets the death penalty and burn in hell.

    • familyfriend

      People are so ignorant ,soo easy to judge ,,none of you know what happened!! Prayers to the brooks family !!!

  • THE REAL "G"

    THE MEDIA DOES HAVE A WAY OF MESSING UP A STORY, BUT THE POINT OF IT ALL IS HE CAME WITH THE INTENT TO HURT OR KILL SOMEONE WITH A GUN!!!! LIKE THE OLD SAYING GOES PEOPLE DON’T PULL GUNS OUT UNLESS THEY PLAN ON USING IT, AND LOOK WHAT HAPPEN, WOULD HIS FAMILY BE SO FORGIVING/ UNDERSTANDING IF THE SHOE WAS ON THE OTHER FOOT. ( DON”T THINK SO) GOD BLESS THE BROOKS FAMILY.

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