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.
Today would have been her sixth birthday.