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Crime & Courts

Pregnant woman dies after shooting; baby OK


Published:   |   Updated: October 3, 2013 at 07:59 AM

TAMPA — Doctors delivered a healthy baby by cesarean section Wednesday from a 22-year-old gunshot patient who later died at the hospital.

Brianna Anderson was shot Wednesday afternoon at North Boulevard Homes apartments, across the street from Blake High School. She was alive when police arrived but “coded’’ - lost her heartbeat and other vital signs - in the ambulance, police said. Paramedics were able to revive her.

She was pronounced dead at Tampa General Hospital late Wednesday.

The baby was in the third trimester and was delivered by C-section shortly after Anderson arrived at the hospital.

“The baby is doing well,’’ said Tampa Police Department spokeswoman Laura McElroy. “It looks like the baby is going to make it.’’

Jamar Anjuan Silas, 22, of Seffner was taken into custody about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after police spotted a a blue Hyundai Accent on Interstate 275 that they had been looking for in connection with the shooting. Silas was a passenger in the vehicle, McElroy said.

Police at first followed the vehicle in unmarked vehicles and did not activate the emergency lights, McElroy said. When the driver exited at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, then made a left on Mayfield Avenue, police turned on the emergency lights and tried to stop the car, but the driver sped away, she said.

The driver of one of the patrol cars executed a manuever in which the police car hit the back of the Accent, causing it to spin to a stop at the intersection of Mayfield and Selma avenues, McElroy said.

Silas was taken into custody and was still being questioned by police late Wednesday; The driver of the Hyundai was also being questioned.

Silas is being charged with felon in possession of a firearm. Other charges are forthcoming.

The shooting was first reported at about 3:55 p.m. by a call to 911. Police came to Anderson’s apartment at 919 W. Chestnut St. and found Anderson, who had been shot once, McElroy said.

Sharaun Day, the property manager for the complex, described Anderson as “a good resident’’ who had lived at the North Boulevard Homes for about two years. She said Anderson was 8 or 8 1/2 months pregnant and was also the mother of a 2-year-old boy.

“She was a happy person,’’ Day said. “Every time she came to the office she was happy, jovial.’’

Dede Williams, who is Anderson’s friend and neighbor, said Anderson never complained about feeling threatened. She lived by herself with her 2-year-old son and had worked at Walmart while she was pregnant, Williams said.

“She was a good person and a sweet girl,” said Williams, who has known Anderson since they attended Middleton High School together. “She always stayed to herself. She never came outside unless she visited one of her friends.”

Jerome Ryans, CEO and president of the Tampa Housing Authority, which manages the complex, came out to the scene after he heard about the shooting.

“It’s sad when things like this happen,’’ Ryans said. “It makes you sick to your stomach. From what I understand, she was a good resident.’’

Five schools were put on lockdown after the shooting: Dunbar Elementary; Just Elementary; West Tampa Elementary; Stewart Middle and Blake High.

Most of the students had gone for the day, but others were still on campus for other activities, according to Tanya Arja, Hillsborough schools spokesperson.

The apartment complex is just west of where North Boulevard crosses the Hillsborough River.

Seneca James has an aunt who lives at the North Boulevard Homes and two daughters at Just Elementary, across the street from the apartments. As a mother, she said, she was hurting for Anderson.

“I can’t imagine what would be going through my mind that moment before I got shot,” said James, 28, of Tampa. “I would be hoping that my child survived.”

jpatino@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7659

Twitter: @jpatinoTBO

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