Gerard Grandzol had just returned home from the park with his toddler and dog when two men approached his car.
The men robbed him of his wallet, but when they tried to pry the car keys from him, Grandzol wouldn’t let him. His 2-year-old daughter was still locked inside the SUV.
However, his refusal to comply angered the men, later identified as the Roberts brothers, who fired two shots. Tragically, a bullet fatally struck the father of two in the head at point-blank range, according to ABC 6 Action News.
One neighbor reported that:
“By the time we ran up to him, people were bandaging him, holding him. And right in the head, right in the face, there was a pool of blood.”
And although the 38-year-old was quickly rushed to Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, he died shortly after. He leaves behind a loving wife, and two young daughters, the eldest of which he died protecting.GoFundMe
Maurice Roberts, 21, and his 16-year-old brother are in custody for the killing of Grandzol and for attempted carjacking. The 16-year-old is responsible for pulling the trigger, and although he is a minor, he “will be charged as an adult” alongside his brother.Screenshot/KYW Newsradio
Grandzol was beloved by all who knew him. According to KYW Newsradio, his neighbor, Yee Wan, said he was always smiling, and that:
“We’re going to miss him so dearly. He was a fabulous person. He was the best husband, father, neighbor, friend that we could ever ask for. We had a block party a few weeks ago and he was the man of the hour.”
“He just brought everyone to life. It’s senseless. I’m losing words right now to describe it.”
According to KYW Newsradio, Grandzol’s family sent a statement to Eyewitness News that read:
We are heartbroken to announce the tragic and senseless loss of our beloved father, son, brother, grandson, uncle, cousin, and friend, Gerard Patrick Grandzol. Ger loved the city and devoted much of his time to community activism. He was often seen riding his bike from his home in Spring Garden to his office at Special Counsel, where he was a successful executive. Ger loved being a father to his two-year-old and six-week-old daughters and adored his wife of almost two years. His smile, sense of humor, and love of life touched all who knew him. We would like to thank the first responders who tried to save Ger and the officers of the Philadelphia Police Department who are thoroughly investigating this heinous crime. We implore anyone with information about what happened to call Philadelphia Police.
Grandzol’s wife, Kristin, said:
“He was just the best father to our two girls that you could even imagine. He was welcoming to everyone in the neighborhood. Everybody loved him and he was just the best. Those two gunshots just destroyed my life and my two daughters don’t have a father now. I have a six-week-old daughter and a two-and-a-half year-old who saw the whole thing and I don’t know if she’ll ever be right.”
Grandzol’s loved ones set up a Facebook group to honor his memory. In addition, a family member set up a fundraising page to “help provide for his two children and widow.” To donate to the Grandzol family, visit their GoFundMe page.