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

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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.


  • james

    jeez people! give them time to get he story straight before posting a name and/or face! JUST BE GLAD THEY GOT SOMEONE AND THEY AREN’T STILL OUT ON THE STREETS TO DO IT AGAIN!!

  • D.

    So, why was a mother sitting in a driveway late at night with a small child? Shouldn’t the girl have been in bed? Sounds like something fishy was going on. Poor little girl.

    • irisssmith

      It doesn’t matter why they were in the driveway, neither of them deserved to be shot! Maybe they were getting off work, picking up the children, or maybe they were dropping the children off, either way, no one should have been shot!

    • Cheryl B

      They were visiting friends and leaving. Her fiance was outside the car. What business is it of yours how late her child was up? She didn’t have school the next day.

    • Kate

      I leave my house at 5:00am to get my child to school and get to work on time. There’s nothing fishy about that!

  • concerned neighbor

    I live on this street and am so scared for myself and my faimly. I never thought something like this could happen so close to home. I pray for the faimly and hope that justice is served. This animal should rot in hell for what he has done. poor baby Brooks RIP baby….
    watch the comments please it should not matter what time this mother had her child out, an unexplainable crime has been commited, stop the judgment for just once, PLEASE.

    • Joe

      Having said that, it is still a trajedy for any family to have such a young innocent child taken from them. My prayers are with the family of this child. Nobody deserves to go through anything like they are now.

      • Kate

        I leave my house at 5:00am to get my child to daycare and get to work on time. It’s not unusual to have your child in the car at this time!

  • Joe

    How late and where you have your children is nobody’s business, until you and your baby get shot in the head leaving your child dead. When the rest of the community sees the news the logical question most people will ask is why wasn’t a child that young at home sleeping in bed.

  • Caneshia Moore

    Im sure people in the coummunity dont care about where they were and what time of night it was. The first logical question a person would ask is WHY and WHO shot that girl and killed her baby? Not why a young child was out at night with her parents who were doing nothing wrong.

  • tanisha

    Probaly a black thug. Hurting innocent child. Probaly a drug altercation gone wrong. Little girl should have been warm in her bed, dreaming of her birthday.

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