Oakland had its 19th homicide of the year on Monday afternoon, and the circumstances were especially dramatic and terrible. A 30-year-old West Oakland mother of three, Chyemil Pierce, was struck and killed by a stray bullet from a gunfight two blocks from her house, right as she was screaming to two of her children to run and duck behind the house to keep from getting hit. As KRON 4 reports, the shooting happened at 4:45 p.m. Monday on the 2900 block of Chestnut Street, shortly after a fight broke out. Pierce's house, which she had just arrived at after picking up her 7- and 9-year-olds from school, is on the 2800 block.
As the Chronicle reports, the fight originally started between a group of women up the street, a man intervened and pushed one of the women, she shouted for some friends, and those friends arrived and began shooting. A 19-year-old and a 16-year-old were also shot but are now in stable condition. There were, reportedly, something like 35 to 50 shots fired, one of which killed Pierce.
Pierce, who worked in human resources at Kaiser Permanente, is survived by a fiance, and her three children, including a 1-year-old who was not with her at the time. A neighbor helped usher the two children into the house, he said, hoping they hadn't seen their mother's body in the street.
Pierce's sister, Aushaunti Regis, tells the Chron, "She does not come from a tragic background. She comes from a well-groomed family." And they note that this part of West Oakland has been beginning to gentrify in the last few years.
Newly elected Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf gave a statement about the tragedy, saying, "Every life taken by senseless gun violence is a tragedy. Without a doubt, the families who have lost loved ones face the most immeasurable pain, but our city also suffers. We cannot flourish as a city under siege. We must come together to end the violence."
No arrests have been made.