Mother killed protecting her children from gang shootout

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OAKLAND, Calif. (CNN/KRON) — A mother was killed protecting her two young children from a hail of bullets in California and now, police are hunting for her killer.

“She loved her kids, she put her kids first. She sacrificed herself for her kids safety,” a childhood friend said of Chyemil Pierce.

The 30-year-old mother acted on instinct when a shootout between rival gangs broke out near her home in the 2800 block of Chestnut Street in West Oakland.

Pierce’s friend asked her identity not be revealed. She said Pierce had just arrived home after picking up two of her three children from elementary school when the bullets began flying.

“She was coming home from work, she had the two oldest kids. She was coming to park so she could walk to my aunt’s house to get the baby,” the victim’s friend said.

But before that happened, Pierce was mortally wounded by a stray bullet as she told her children to get up a flight of stairs and into the safety of their home.

“When I saw her body it was laying right in front of her house I never thought that is how I would see her for the last time. Chyemil, she was so pretty. She was just a beautiful person inside and out,” her friend said.

Lt. Roland Holmgren, with the Oakland Police Department, said it was all connected to a violent gang feud in the neighborhood.

“Senseless gun violence and at the end of it a woman who has nothing to do with it, who is doing nothing more than trying to get her children to safety loses her life and the children lose their mother,” Holmgren said.

No arrests have been made and a search is continuing for Pierce’s killer or killers.

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