OAKLAND -- A 14-year-old boy suspected of fatally shooting his 17-year-old sister Thursday afternoon remained at large Friday, even as the boy's family pleaded publicly for him to surrender.
Investigators believe that Mario Toliver Jr. shot and killed his sister at the family's Chinatown apartment shortly after noon Thursday, then fled the scene. Police said Friday they believed he might still have the weapon used in the shooting and that he should be considered armed and dangerous.
The shooting occurred in a fifth-floor unit in the 800 block of Franklin Street. The victim was identified by Oakland police Friday as Justice Toliver, the mother of a 2-year-old daughter.
The apartment building was mostly quiet Friday, and people visiting the family declined to comment.
Family members issued a public plea Thursday evening for the boy to surrender peacefully.
"I love him, no love is lost," the children's grandmother, Wanda Brown, said Thursday night. "I know he's hurt right now, and I know they were bickering, but they were like two peas in a pod."
Brown said the two had grown up in the Chinatown apartment with their father, that they loved to go shopping or to the movies and that they often sang and played baseball together.
Their father, Mario Toliver Sr., was not home at the time of the shooting, family members said. Authorities said he is on probation for drug possession offenses and possession of stolen property. Full details of his criminal record were not immediately available.
Police did not say Friday who the gun belonged to or how they believed the teen had obtained the gun.
At the time of the shooting, the teens were in the care of their grandmother, who was in another room and called for help.
Police have not yet released a motive in the killing, the eighth homicide in Oakland this year.
"They got into some type of altercation," their cousin Gregory Stewart said. "Whatever it was about, it shouldn't get that serious to pick up a gun and kill his sister."
Berkeley basketball coach Todd Walker, who works in a mortuary and routinely presents a "Scared Straight"-type program to at-risk urban teens at schools, said he met the boy last year when he spoke
at Barack Obama Academy in Oakland about the risks of dying on the streets. He brought props from his work, including obituaries, body bags, embalming fluid and pictures to drive home his point.
Walker said Friday that Mario Toliver Jr. was disruptive during the presentation, giggling and mumbling. "He was just showing off," said Walker.
After the talk, Walker pulled the boy aside and talked to him.
"He was a good kid," Walker recalled, but added: "I told the school to watch him."
Oakland Unified School District spokesman Troy Flint said Justice Toliver was not enrolled in school but had been a student at Fremont High School in 2011-2012. Counselors were at McClymonds and Castlemont high schools on Friday working with students who knew her. She did not attend those schools, but apparently has close contacts there, Flint said.
Mario Toliver Jr. was not enrolled in the district but had attended West Oakland Middle School in 2012. He was slated to attend Fremont High School starting Monday.
Family members said Mario Toliver Jr. is black, 14 years old, 5 feet tall and slender, with black hair and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt. He was on foot.
"The Oakland Police Department, along with the Toliver family, is asking Mario Toliver Jr. to turn himself in to police," said Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson. "Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact the Police Department."
The Police Department's homicide unit can be reached at 510-238-3821. Crime Stoppers is at 510-777-8572. There is a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.
Staff writer Karina Ioffee contributed to this report.