'It's emptiness': Family mourns woman, 23, gunned down on Broad Street

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Tyisha Timmons, right, with a niece. Timmons, 23, was shot dead while driving a van full of family members – including her twin sister and three young children – on Broad Street on Feb. 21, 2018.

The calls kept coming, one after the other.

From the undertaker, the morgue, the police.

Lisa Timmons hadn’t slept in two days, but she kept answering the phone Friday morning. Each call was helping her deal with the fallout from her daughter’s killing. Each got Timmons closer to laying her 23-year-old girl, Tyisha, to rest.

“It’s emptiness,” Timmons, 51, said of her life now. “A weight I can’t fill.”

Tyisha Timmons was gunned down Wednesday night on Broad Street in Fern Rock, struck in the head by a bullet while driving northbound in a van filled with at least six other family members — including her twin sister, Myisha, and three young children.

In an interview Friday, Myisha said the group was out shopping for clothes to wear to a surprise birthday party her sister wanted to throw for their mother this weekend. Before they could make it home, the van was sprayed with up to five bullets.

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Police have said Timmons and the other occupants appeared to be innocent victims, and investigators were still searching Friday for suspects and a possible motive. The van crashed into a business after Timmons was shot, but the other occupants survived.

The description of suspects was vague — two men wearing gray hoodies — and police were still gathering evidence Friday and trying to piece the case together.

Homicide Capt. John Ryan said Friday that investigators believe that the van may have inadvertently traveled through another gun battle blocks away and minutes earlier, but that it was unclear whether that shooting had anything to do with the one that killed Timmons.

Myisha said they did drive past another shooting, but she did not want to go into detail about either because she was speaking with her young daughter nearby and did not want to make her relive the experience.

Ryan emphasized that the van’s occupants did not appear to be connected to the shooters in either incident — that Tyisha Timmons and her family members in the car were “not involved in anything to bring this on their doorstep.”

“It’s terrible what happened,” Ryan said. “It’s also a miracle that no one else [in the car] was hit.”

Meanwhile, Lisa Timmons fought back tears in the living room of her two-story Ogontz rowhouse, battling the need to plan the burial with the mix of sadness, rage, and disbelief.

Words “don’t measure the pain,” she said.

Tyisha was one of eight children, her mother said, a bright girl with a pretty smile and a warm personality.

She worked two jobs, said her father, James Buckman, and her diploma from Arise Academy high school was on display on a windowsill near photos of her siblings and their children.

Tyisha had no children, her family said, but was a caring aunt to her nieces and nephews. She had talked about becoming a fashion designer and of someday maybe having twins of her own. In addition to having a twin sister, her mother said, she also had older twin brothers.

Myisha Timmons said her sister was her best friend — born 3 minutes before her, which she never let Myisha live down. They used to jump rope double Dutch in the street outside their home growing up, Myisha said, and Tyisha loved to shop for her nieces.

“She was just always about making sure that [we were] good in each and every way,” Myisha said.

Lisa Timmons was at work when she heard that her daughter had been in a car accident — and she did not learn about the shooting until she arrived at the scene.

Buckman said he received a call about the crime and at first did not believe what he was told.

“It was scary, man,” he recalled.

The family has set up a memorial at the site of the accident, and they were busy preparing Friday for Tyisha’s burial.

Much remained unknown, but one thing was certain: Lisa Timmons said she wanted to be a pallbearer — to carry her daughter to the grave.