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When the Blacksmith failed to appear and gangs grew eventually learned the agent's true identity they started a firefight. Using this as cover Cerberus Squad opened fire on Frank Castle, who was spending time with his family after returning from Afghanistan. Castle was shot in the head but survived. His wife Maria, daughter Lisa and son Frank Jr. all lost their lives.
Determined to protect her reputation, Samantha Reyes coerced physician Gregory Tepper into identifying the undercover agent as a John Doe and kept news of the massacre from leaking for a week. Reyes also placed a "do not resuscitate" order on Frank Castle in an attempt to ensure his death.
Although Castle flatlined, he came back to life and escaped the hospital, intent on punishing those responsible for his family's death. Castle's mission was successful, leading him to learn that his former C.O. and mentor Ray Schoonover was a cause of his families death, eventually killing him.
Castle eventually joined forces with David "Micro" Lieberman, an NSA analyst who was deemed dead and framed a traitor after surviving a assassination attempt by William Rawlins. Castle learned that his past operation in Afghanistan was also a force behind the massacre.
In chronological order:
- The Punisher