Man Murdered During Carjacking Because He Wouldn’t Leave 2-Year-Old Daughter Behind
Gerald Grandzol Was Murdered In Cold Blood
Philadelphia, PA – A Philadelphia father was murdered in front of his two-year-old daughter by carjackers on Thursday, September 7.
The incident occurred about 8 PM Thursday along the 1500 block of Melon Street. Gerald Grandzol, age 38, was getting out of his car after a family outing with his daughter and the family dog, according to Fox News, when he was confronted by two suspects who were intent on robbing someone that night.
The suspects, later identified as Maurice Roberts, age 21, and his 16-year-old brother, whose name was not released, demanded his wallet, which he willingly gave up. They also demanded his car, but Grandzol insisted on taking his daughter out of the car before handing over his keys.
One suspect then shot Grandzol twice in the head while his daughter watched. When first responders arrived, they found his daughter crying in the back seat of Grandzol’s car.
A neighbor, Brendan Fernald, rushed over to help. He said “[I] jumped down and started putting pressure on his wounds. Then, scooping the blood out of his mouth so he could breathe.” Grandzol was transported to Hahnemann University Hospital, where he died about 90 minutes later.
Both suspects fled on foot, according to NBC Philadelphia. Police said that the murder was captured on surveillance video.
Police arrested Maurice Roberts and his 16-year-old brother on Saturday, and identified the 16-year-old as the shooter.
Philadelphia Police Homicide Captain John Ryan said, “They wanted the car; he wouldn’t give up the car. And they shot him for it.” He said that the murder weapon was a 9mm handgun. Police were familiar with both suspects from their prior criminal history.
Grandzol’s wife Kristin gave birth to their second child just six weeks ago.
“This is just not fair that this is how he died,” Kristen Grandzol 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.”
Grandzol was active in his community, including being a board member of the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corp.
Kristin Grandzol said, “Those two gunshots just destroyed my life and my two daughters don’t have a father now. I have a 6-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.”