Officials say that an unknown gunman fired into a crowd during the burial service of a teenager who was fatally shot by a Florida sheriff’s deputy earlier this month.
Florida Today reported that the bullet wounded the deceased teen’s mother.
Shots were fired as guests gathered at Riverview Memorial Gardens to pay their respects to 18-year-old Sincere Pierce. Pierce and 16-year-old Angelo Crooms were killed Nov. 13 by a Brevard County Sheriff’s deputy.
The newspaper reported that once the pastor had finished his prayers and the teen’s friends and loved finished placing flowers on the casket, is when shots rang out. The loud popping sound was followed by stunned silence before Quasheda Pierce screamed she’d been hit.
At first, mourners were slow to react before realizing what had occurred. They began rushing to nearby cars and leaving the funeral quickly. Friends and family members helped Quasheda Pierce into a minivan before the ambulance arrived. Shortly after, deputies arrived carrying rifles in response to multiple 911 calls.
The mother was taken to a hospital, but the severity of her injury was not immediately known.
Detectives and crime scene investigators remained at the cemetery throughout the afternoon Saturday, the newspaper reported.
The teens were killed when Deputy Jafet Santiago-Miranda fired multiple shots into their car when the teens didn’t pull over. Sheriff Wayne Ivey had said the deputies thought the vehicle might have been stolen. Still, the teens’ families and lawyer, Natalie Jackson, said they had permission to use the car and called it a case of mistaken identity.
Their deaths captured national interest, with well-known civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump working on behalf of the families in what he called a bid for justice.