A father in Philadelphia has been fatally shot after he tried to protect his 2-year-old daughter from armed carjackers.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Gerard Grandzol, 38, was shot in the face during a carjacking Thursday right outside of his home in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Spring Garden.
Grandzol had reportedly just returned home from playing frisbee with his toddler daughter at about 8 p.m. Two suspects approached him and allegedly took his wallet, before demanding his car keys. But Grandzol refused, as his daughter was still in the back seat.
The suspects then allegedly shot him twice in the face. Chief Inspector Scott Small told the newspaper that Grandzol “was shot from point-blank range.”
He was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m.
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The suspects remain at large. Grandzol’s daughter and the family dog, both in the car, were reportedly unharmed.
In addition to his toddler daughter, Grandzol and his wife had an infant child, reportedly born in late July.
He was a popular, active, and well-respected member of the community, which is now reeling from the shocking tragedy.
“He was the neighbor and friend I wish everyone was fortunate enough to have,” said Brad Griffith, a longtime friend and neighbor, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“And I’m going to miss him.”
Another neighbor, Nate Proulx, said that Grandzol welcomed him with open arms when he first moved to the neighborhood, introducing him to everyone on the block.
“He loved it here,” Proulx said.
City Council President Darrell L. Clarke told the newspaper that Grandzol was “kind of like the go-to guy in that community.”
Grandzol was the executive director of Special Counsel’s Philadelphia office.
Relatives have launched a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to help support the family.
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