The burial service of a Black boy who was killed in a deputy-involved shooting ended in turmoil as the mother of the victim was shot, Florida Today reported.
On Saturday afternoon (Nov. 28), the family and friends of Sincere Pierce gathered at Riverview Memorial Gardens in Florida to say their final goodbyes to the late teen. Toward the end of the service, as loved ones were placing their flowers on the casket, an unknown gunman fired into the crowd, striking and wounding Pierce’s mother, Quasheda Pierce.
Families had a delayed reaction to the shooting, but eventually scurried away from the scene, while Quasheda was helped into a minivan until emergency responders arrived. The nature and severity of her injuries have not yet been disclosed.
Pierce and his friend Angelo Crooms were shot and killed by a Florida deputy earlier this month. Brevard County Sheriff Deputy Jafet Santiago-Mirand and a fellow cop had been following the teens as they believed they were driving a stolen Volkswagen sedan. When they were finally able to close in on them with their patrol cars, they drew their weapons and ordered them to stop, but Crooms — who was driving the vehicle — continued on and reportedly started speeding toward the officers. Santiago-Mirand subsequently fired about 10 shots into the car, killing both teens.
Protests demanding justice for Pierce and Crooms have since erupted as the family seeks answers from local authorities. Benjamin Crump — who has been hired to represent both families — has called for the release of all footage related to the incident as he says the boys were only acting out of fear.
Meanwhile, Santiago-Mirand is currently on paid administrative leave as an investigation into the shooting is underway. Based on current footage of the incident, the sheriff’s office says he was “forced to fire his service weapon” to “stop the deadly threat of the car from crashing into him.”