Mom Shares Nightmare of Losing Daughter

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CLEVELAND -- Her daughter was killed in a hail of gunfire.  Now the woman who lost her eye in the violence is speaking exclusively to Fox 8 News.

Noni Brooks, 33, said she has a lot of pain and a lot of questions, and she still wonders why.

"I miss her, and sometimes I don't know how to feel, I don't know where to go, or what to do," said Brooks.

It's the heartache of losing a child.

Each day Brooks relives the nightmare.  She and her children were in the wrong place at the wrong time on Crossburn Avenue in Cleveland.  The night of Jan. 19, senseless violence claimed the life of her 5-year-old daughter, Jermani.

"They just came flying through the truck, about eight or nine shots back to back, and it seemed like they were not gonna ever stop, and all I could remember saying is 'please don't let me die, my kids, my kids, my kids...'" said Brooks.

When the gunfire stopped, two of her three children were unharmed, but her only daughter Jermani was fatally wounded -- shot in the head -- and Noni was shot in the eye.

"As he was shooting in the car, I was like, 'what did we do, why us?'" Brooks wondered.

Jeffrey Gurkovich, 32, was charged with several counts including aggravated murder.

Brooks said she had never seen him before.

When asked if she has or can forgive him, Brooks answered, "I don't think I can ever forgive this man for what he did to me for no reason, for what he did to my family.  He hurt a lot of people.  My daughter had a chance, she had a chance to be anything or anybody she wanted to be, and he took that.  I don't think I can ever forgive him."

Brooks admits she has a lot of anger, but the one thing that soothes her troubled soul are memories of Jermani.

"I just think about her love the love she had inside of her and I say no, I know that's not what she would want.  She was so loving she wouldn't want me to get mad lashing out," Brooks explained.  "I learned that tomorrow is not promised, and in the blink of an eye one of us could be gone."

Brooks plans to be in court when Gurkovich goes on trial.

He is being held on $5 million bond.

Brooks said the violence has devastated her financially because she can't work.

If you'd like to help her, you can donate to the Noni Brooks fund at any KeyBank.

Click here for extended coverage on this story.


  • Beverly

    Ajax. It doesn’t matter why she was there. What most important an incident child was MURDERED. This not about racism, Child endangerment and/or drugs. It’s about VIOLENCE!!!

    • Ajaxx

      And I agree with ya Bev.But Im sorry.But the time of the tragedy.Kids should be at home.Besides earlier.reports said they were there because some one owed another money.I just believe it could of been avoided.[IMO}And I
      don’t put drugs race and all that BS into it.Like you said its the violence we face in todays world.

      • Natasha

        Why should the mother be charged? She did nothing wrong. All because she had her children with her and it was late? She could have been going home from a family gathering or something of that nature. Its not a crime to have your children in a vehicle late at night. To point your finger at her for any reason is ridiculous. She is a VICTIM and so is her children. I’ve had my son out late before because I picked him up from daycare or was at a family gathering. Does that make me wrong, NO! People like you make me sick, always looking to blame an innocent victim for something that was out of her control. Get a grip…

  • J. Offutt

    My heart goes out to this poor Mother , My God be with her in this horrible time in her life . I pray that the man who did this is found guilty and has to serve a very long time . it is senseless to kill someone just because you are mad ! really people grow up!

  • MrsLittle

    thank you read first, this is not a case of child neglect, they were in front of they own home and this maniac thought that her boyfriend was in the car and instead of looking the “coward” fired shots into they car. this was all over an argument, to me cowards shoot people, these are people who are too scared to settle things the old way which was yell or fist fight it out. that man deserves all the time he got and i know they stroked him because he promised the judge he’d stay out of trouble.

  • cj

    Thoughts and prayers to this family during a devastating time. Lean on God as His love you will get you through this. Unfortunately stupid people can purchase guns.

  • Susan Huff

    I am trying to get donations to this poor mother. Key Bank said the account is closed. Can Fox 8 news help me get a donation to this family. I have been trying for several weeks.

  • Nicole

    Facing criminal charges \???!!!! Shut up Ajaxx!!! Those are her kids she was out visiting getting ready to leave!!! She can take her kids wherever she likes!!!! RIP Princess, sorry for the family prayers to a mother heart broken

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