Man charged in fatal shooting that killed mother trying to shield children

OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Oakland Police say Anthony Sims,19, told investigators he was involved in the gun battle that killed Chyemil Pierce, a mother of three, who was trying to get her children to safety when the gunfight erupted on the street outside her home.

Sims was charged Thursday with Pierce's murder and police say tips from the community helped them make the arrest.

Police say there are other suspects and investigators are actively looking for those people involved in the shooting that happened about 4:45 p.m. Monday near the intersection of Chestnut and 30th Streets.

Candles, signs and flowers outside Pierce's home, show the caring of the community. There is also outrage that the 30-year-old woman could lose her life trying to save her children.

Police say Sims went to Highland Hospital with injuries the night of the gunfight. According to court documents, Sims was arrested the next day at the hospital and was transferred to jail Thursday.

"Per witness statements and statements made by Sims himself, Sims was present and participated in a gun battle that led directly to the death of the victim," said Teresa Drenick, an Alameda County Assistant District Attorney.

Police say Monday's shooting happened after a group of girls got into a fight. Oakland Police Lt. Roland Holmgren says the fight escalated when some young men got involved and pulled out guns.

"One group of individuals kind of coming to their aid and the other side feeling disrespected, the two groups clashed. There were firearms on one side and firearms on the other side," Lt. Holmgren said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Lt. Holmgren said there were bullet casings of different calibers found at the shooting scene. Investigators are looking for other suspects.

Brian Christian, one of the victim's neighbors, told KTVU that he heard the shots.

"When I came out to the porch thinking it was over, that's when I saw them shooting here. Then they ran off down the street or jumped into a car and were gone," Christian said.

Taleya Silas stood at the scene Thursday and wrote a message for her friend.

"It says a lot about her because she loved her kids. She did anything for her kids, bent over backwards. That's one thing you could say about her. she was a great mother," Silas told KTVU.

The shooting has touched strangers too.

"What touched me about this is it was an innocent mother, young mother who was trying to do the right thing," said Gwendolyn Russell, who came to the site with a group of women from the Berkeley Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church to pray and offer the family condolences and money from a church collection.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley says her office has been working with police to process the charges in this case quickly.

"We will take this to the fullest extent of the law and really punish this individual who so carelessly murdered this very wonderful woman in front of her kids, really affecting the whole neighborhood and whole city," O'Malley told KTVU.

Police say Sims' brother was shot and killed on January 20th in a double shooting on Tenth Street in Oakland.

Sims is expected to be in court Friday morning to enter a plea.

The court documents made no mention of gangs in Sim's arrest. Oakland Police said they would not give any information about other suspects until the people are in custody.

Police say tips from the community helped them arrest and charge Sims. They are asking more people to step forward so they can find the other suspects involved in Monday's gun battle.