2 San Francisco men get life for deadly shooting outside funeral reception

San Francisco Fillmore Heritage Center shooting.

Two men were sentenced to life behind bars on Monday for a fatal shooting outside a funeral reception in San Francisco in 2019 that also left several bystanders wounded.

Robert Manning, 31, and Jamare Coats, 29, engaged in a shootout outside the Fillmore Heritage Center on March 23, 2019, that resulted in the death of 25-year-old Mister Dee C. Simmons III. Four other people were injured and one of them is paralyzed. 

Coats and Manning, both of San Francisco, were convicted in August of murder in aid of racketeering and of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Coats and Manning were active members of a gang known as "Mac Block" that operated in the city's Western Addition, the same neighborhood where the murder took place. 

Officials described Mac Block as a "criminal racketeering enterprise" that engaged in various crimes including murder, robbery, and drug dealing.

On March 23, 2019, Mac Block members, including Coats, Manning, and a third unnamed associate, were at the Fillmore Heritage Center for a funeral reception.

Authorities said Simmons III was allegedly disrespectful during the reception, brandishing a gun and making threats. His behavior angered Manning who left the center with fellow Mac Block members, including Coats, to their parked cars.

Inside the cars, Manning provided a semi-automatic pistol to the unnamed associate and kept an automatic Glock on his person, prosecutors said. Coats went to his own car and retrieved a .45 caliber semi-automatic firearm.

MORE COVERAGE: Community meeting held after SF Fillmore shooting that killed 1, injured 5

The group then returned to the center where they attempted to approach Simmons. Officials said people tried to intervene and push Coats away from Simmons, but to no avail.  

Coats, Manning, and their associate circled around Simmons. Authorities said Simmons fired first, and the unnamed associate returned fire while Coats ducked.

After Simmons fell, the associate ran from the scene and Coats approached the victim. Coats then shot Simmons, who was lying on the ground, four times straight before pausing for a moment and shooting him twice more, prosecutors said.

Authorities said at least 24 shots were let off during the gunfire exchange with stray bullets hitting four bystanders. Officials said the shootout took place on a crowded sidewalk.

The three other victims acknowledged in impact statements during the trial that while their physical injuries were "minor," the gunfire has "dramatically changed their lives and those around them."