DA Mike Schmidt announces 6 years and 8 months sentence for second-degree manslaughter

December 10, 2021 

Elisabeth Shepard, Communications Director 


DA Mike Schmidt announces 6 years and 8 months sentence for second-degree manslaughter

PORTLAND, Oregon – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that Tyler Wayne Pierce, 33, was sentenced to 6 years and 8 months prison (80 months) after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the second degree. 

In June of 2019, Pierce and his childhood friend were out drinking in East Portland and visited several bars. They were both intoxicated by the end of the evening. Pierce had a 9-millimeter semi-automatic handgun on his person throughout the evening that he had purchased from a Bi-Mart approximately one month prior. He did not have a concealed weapon permit. According to Pierce, he carried the gun with bullets in the magazine, but not in the chamber.  

As the two headed home, Pierce pulled out his gun, held the gun to his friend’s chin and pulled the trigger. His friend immediately fell to the ground, with a single gunshot wound to his head. 

Pierce called 9-11 and stayed at the scene. Portland Police and an American Medical Response (AMR) medic responded quickly and provided medical attention. The victim was transported to a local hospital but died while en route. An autopsy later determined the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. 

“Guns are not toys. The sheer presence of a gun increases the risk of fatality. That combined with lack of training, proper permits, and the consumption of alcohol is deadly. This preventable tragedy epitomizes the need for responsible gun ownership in our community,” Deputy District Attorney Kate Molina, who prosecuted the case, stated. 

In 2020, gun sales increased by 65%, a trend that has continued into 2021. Earlier this year, DA Mike Schmidt released a Gun Violence Data Dashboard in response to the unprecedented increase in gun violence across the county and the nation over the last three years. 

Pierce and the victim worked for the same company and frequently socialized. They had known one another since Pierce was fifteen years old. 

The parents and girlfriend of the victim made victim impact statements at sentencing. 

“Sorry isn’t good enough,” the victim’s mother began. 

“He will never have a chance to get married… you are receiving 80 months but me and [the victim’s father] are getting a life sentence without our son.” She continued. 

“My son didn’t deserve this… I am haunted by his death,” the victim’s father added. 

“You were supposed to be his best man,” the victim’s girlfriend said, referring to Pierce.  

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office thanks the Portland Police Bureau and AMR for their assistance in this case.