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17-Year-Old Oakland Mother Shot Dead, Police Search For Younger Brother

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17-year-old Justice Toliver was fatally shot in her Oakland apartment on January 23, 2014. Her 14-year-old brother is a suspect in the case. (Facebook/CBS)

Justice Toliver (CBS)

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OAKLAND (CBS SF) – A 17-year-old mother was shot dead inside an Oakland apartment Thursday afternoon and police said the suspect is her younger brother.

The boy was still being sought by the Oakland Police Department as of Thursday night.

According to family, Justice Toliver was fatally shot by her 14-year-old brother around 12:15 p.m. in their fifth floor apartment unit on 801 Franklin Street.

Mario Toliver Sr., their father, said he couldn’t believe what happened. “They were good kids. They were just brothers and sisters just arguing.”

The family said the two siblings were arguing over the way Justice did his brother’s laundry.

Marianna Gaston, 22, of Oakland said she had been told the boy was mad at his sister for bleaching his clothes.

When she first heard about the shooting, Gaston said she thought it was “a joke” and asked, “Why would he kill her over that?”

Standing outside the 12-story apartment building several hours after the shooting, Gaston said, “Nothing makes sense. It doesn’t add up.”

Police said they received a call at 12:17 p.m. reporting the shooting and when officers responded they found a female who was suffering from a gunshot wound.

Paramedics were summoned to the scene but the female was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Police said a preliminary investigation has determined that the person who shot the female is a family member but they didn’t release the suspect’s name or say if the suspect has been arrested.

Police also said they haven’t yet determined the motive for the shooting.

Family members said Justice was going back to school while raising a little girl.

“She’s going to be deeply missed, because she was a very loving young lady,” said Wanda Brown, Justice’s grandmother. “And this is my great-granddaughter, her daughter, right here. And she’s going to miss her mother.”

The elder Toliver appealed to his son to turn himself in Thursday night. “Please call me son, I love you, we all love you,” he said. “We know it was an accident, a mistake, s— happens. You’re 14, you’ve got a long life ahead of you son.”

Anyone with information on the shooting was asked to contact the Oakland Police Department’s Homicide Section at (510) 238-3821.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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