PHILADELPHIA, PA (WTXF) - A funeral was held for the father shot to death in front of his 2-year-old daughter in Spring Garden.
The weather matched the mood at the funeral mass for 38-year old Gerard Grandzol at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. His widow, Kristin, left the church carrying their 7-week-old baby girl Rose.
"They just have a newborn. Her stitches from her C-section haven't even healed up and she's left with two children by herself," friend Anna Urban Gelman said.
Gellman worked for Gerry as he was known to his friends. She still can't believe he is gone.
"He was just the most wonderful man you can possibly imagine," she said.
Grandzol was killed last Thursday. Police say by 16-year old Marvin Roberts as the teen and his 21-year old brother tried to carjack Grandzol in front of his home on Melon Street. He little daughter Violet was in the backseat, witnessing the horror.
"He already gave them his wallet. All he asked that he could remove his daughter, his 2 1/2 year old daughter from the car. He was protecting them from the very last second. Who can do something like that," Gellman said.
Grandzol was well-liked and well-respected by everyone. He was a community activist and a go-to-guy.
The father of two grew up in Doylestown. David and Jane Boday have known him his whole life.
"Philadelphia has lost one of its finest sons, certainly Doylestown has, you know it's heartbreaking."
The Boday's son Martin and Grandzol were best friends growing up together their families still live just a block away.
"Gerry was the greatest guy in the world. I mean he'd do anything for anybody. Always up for an adventure, such a loving father."
A lot of hugs and tears shed today for a man his friends say was a one-of-a-kind guy who just exuded positive energy.
"He was an amazing person and I'll love him forever for the rest of my life and forever."