The Massacre at Central Park was a sting operation organized by Samantha Reyes in an attempt to arrest the Blacksmith. When the Blacksmith did not appear, a firefight ensued between the rival gangs in attendance.
When the Blacksmith failed to appear, the gangs grew restless and eventually discovered the undercover agent's true identity. This sparked a firefight that resulted in both the agent and several gang members losing their lives.
War hero Frank Castle, who was spending time with his family after returning from Iraq the day before, was shot in the head but survived. His wife Maria, daughter Lisa and son Frank Jr. all lost their lives.
Desperate to protect her reputation, Samantha Reyes coerced 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 subsequently escaped the hospital, intent on punishing those responsible for his family's death.'