A mother was shot at her son’s funeral service on Saturday afternoon at Riverview Memorial Gardens in Cocoa, Florida.
It is not clear if she was the intended target of the shooting, and police have not announced any suspects or leads in the case. The young boy that was being buried was killed in a high profile police shooting earlier this month.
Officials say that an “unknown gunman” fired into a crowd gathered at the boy’s burial service on Saturday afternoon.
The funeral was for 18-year-old Sincere Pierce, a young man who was shot and killed by a Brevard County Sheriff’s deputy on November 13th, along with 16-year-old Angelo Crooms.
Quasheda Pierce, the young boy’s mother, was wounded in the shooting at the funeral, and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The status of her injuries is unknown at this time.
The shots were reportedly fired just after the pastor finished his prayers and allowed friends and loved ones to place flowers on the casket.
Deputies carrying rifles arrived a short time later in response to multiple 911 calls, but were unable to find the gunman, according to ABC News.
The teens were killed earlier this month by Deputy Jafet Santiago-Miranda, who fired multiple shots into their car because they wouldn’t pull over.
Sheriff Wayne Ivey had said the deputies thought the vehicle might have been stolen, but the teens’ families and lawyer, Natalie Jackson, said they had permission to use the car and said that it was a case of mistaken identity.
The officer claims that he had to fire at the vehicle because he was worried that it would have crashed into him otherwise. Sheriff Ivey later released dash cam footage which showed the teens seeming to drive towards the deputy. The teen’s families and their lawyers insist that the boy was trying to avoid the officer, not hit him.
Tasha Strachan, Crooms’ mother, said that the officer could have just gotten out of the way if he thought that his life was in danger.
“He was walking toward the car; he put (himself) in danger. The lady deputy got behind her car. But these deputies followed them without any lights, they got out with guns drawn. My son stopped at the stop signs and he was trying to get away He’s a 16-year-old, he was not going to think like an adult. He probably just thought ‘I can just drive away,” she said.
“They took my son. His name was Angelo. I want some justice. If the deputy was in danger, he would have got out of the way,” she added.
Situations like this actually occur fairly often, with police putting their bodies in the way of moving vehicles and then shooting when people don’t stop. This is a tactic that is used to prevent people from escaping arrest, not the last resort for an officer in danger.