Family wants justice for New Year's Eve homicide

PHILADELPHIA - December 29, 2012

They hope you can help bring their loved one's killer to justice.

47-year-old Gerard Markert was a family man who went by the name "Gerry". He was a talented artist that his family was proud of.

"He could paint anything. People were amazed at his funeral when they seen all his paintings all around," Eileen Horn.

Late on New Year's Eve 2011, Gerry was spending time with relatives along the 4100 block of Orchard Street in the Frankford section of Philadelphia.

Trouble started when Gerry helped break up an argument between his cousin and two men who had all been in a minor car accident a short time earlier.

"He quickly ran up the street and he had stopped what was going on," said Horn.

The two men ended up leaving, but Gerry's family said they circled the area for about 45 minutes.

Just before 1:30 a.m., Gerry and his cousin were returning from the store when police say the two men came back and shot Gerry.

"He shot him four times in the chest, and when my brother went down, he shot him in the back, and he said 'That's for getting involved,'" Horn explained.

Gerry died at the hospital.

30-year-old Christopher Johnson has been arrested and charged in connection with Gerry's murder, but police do not believe he was the shooter.

The Citizens Crime Commission is administering a $1,000 reward, and the city of Philadelphia is offering up to $20,000 for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the shooter.

Anyone with information is asked to call to the hotline anonymously at 215-546-TIPS or the police tip line at 215-686-TIPS.

Gerry's family says this senseless violence has to stop.

"Something should have been done long before now, there are too many guns out there," said Horn.

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