Dad Dies Trying to Protect His 2-Year-Old From Carjackers: 'We Blindly Lost a Beautiful Soul'

Maya Chung

A Philadelphia father was killed after he refused to give up his keys to carjackers while his 2-year-old daughter was in the backseat.

Gerard Grandzol was returning home Thursday evening with his little girl when two men tried to rob him, police said.

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The 38-year-old gave the men his wallet, but would not give up his keys because his toddler was still in the SUV, police said.

Grandzol was reportedly shot at least once in the face.

Emergency responders found his daughter crying in the backseat, police said. 

The dad died later at a local hospital. 

“We blindly lost a beautiful soul on September 7th, who tragically gave his life to protect that of his two-year old-daughter,” the family wrote on a GoFundMe. “We will never be able to replace the, love, laughter and light that Ger brought to our lives.”

Grandzol was a dad of two. His other daughter is just 6 weeks old. 

Maurice Roberts, 21, of Philadelphia, and his 16-year-old brother were later arrested by police in connection with the murder. Police said the teen, whose name was not released, was the shooter.

“Still in shock. I can't believe I will never get to backpack, fish, ride, snowboard with Gerry again. Most of all, I won't be able to see him being a loving father and husband,” Rich Grandzol, a family member, posted on Facebook.

Family members created a Facebook page “Remembering Gerard Grandzol” for those who knew him.

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“Gerry was your friend, from the moment you met him,” one friend wrote the page.

Another wrote, “Gerry Grandzol died protecting his daughter. As senseless and infuriating as this crime was, he was equally goddamn brave and one-of-a-kind…"

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