Suspect in shooting death of 5-year-old Jermani Brooks named

911 callers: 3 shots fired, shooter drove off

CLEVELAND -

UPDATE: Gurkovich has been charged with aggravated murder, according to court records. He is scheduled for a bond hearing at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22.

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UPDATE: Geoffrey Gurkovich, 32, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the shooting death of 5-year-old Jermani Brooks, police said during a press conference. 

The shooting stemmed from a domestic altercation, police said. The intended target - Brooks' mother's boyfriend - was in the home the SUV was parked near.

Two other children, who were unharmed, were also in the SUV.

Gurkovich was released from prison at Grafton Correctional Institute in June 2012 after a four-year stint for escape and domestic violence.

His arrest in Newburgh Heights stemmed from a tip police received, they said. In cooperation with Newburgh Heights Police, Cleveland officers watched a home in the city and arrested him when he left it. 

Watch for more updates in this developing story.

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UPDATE: A source tells NewsChannel5's Tracy Carloss that an arrest has been made in the murder of 5-year-old Jermani Brooks. Details will follow a police news conference Tuesday at 3 p.m. Police say they will not release any other information regarding the suspect's identity until the afternoon conference.

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A vigil has been set for a 5-year-old girl and her mother, who were shot in the head as they sat in an SUV on Crossburn Avenue late Sunday night, on the night that the girl was supposed to have a 6th birthday party.

Jermani Brooks, age 5, was killed and her 33-year-old mother Noni Brooks is in fair condition in the ICU at MetroHealth Medical. According to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner, Brooks' is the eighth child fatality in the first 21 days of 2014, though it has not been determined how many of those deaths were homicides.

The vigil will be Thursday, Jan. 23 at 5:30 p.m. at 13307 Bellaire Road in Cleveland. Jermani was supposed to have a pool party for her birthday Thursday night.

Family member Titi Brooks released a statement asking for privacy while the family mourns the "loss of a beautiful child," begging the public to come forward with information about the "person of interest."

SWAT surrounded a house in the second district but left without arresting a suspect.

Police say a white male exited a green SUV and fired multiple times at the victims’ vehicle and then fled.

Police plan to release a description of the suspect soon. A family member told NewsChannel5 they do not know who the shooter is or why it happened.

One 911 caller said she heard three shots fired and another caller said she described hearing the shooter drive away.

Earlier Monday, police said the victims were caught in the crossfire of the shooting happened in front of a house on the 12800 block of Crossburn Avenue around 11:15 p.m.

Police are asking the public to provide information about the shooting. You can call Cleveland Police at 216-623-5464.

Anonymous tips can be called into Crime Stoppers: 216-252-7463 or text TIP657 to 274637 (CRIMES).

"Join us in sending the message that senseless violence will not be tolerated in our neighborhoods," the City of Cleveland wrote in a statement Monday that called the crime "heinous."

Check back with NewsChannel5 for updates as new information becomes available.

 

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