Authorities say a talented Bay Area pianist and musician was murdered because he was black and left to die in a roadway.
Daniel Porter-Kelly, 31, is accused of murder, robbery, and a hate crime in the slaying of William Sims, 28, who was described by those who knew him as a gentle person with a gift for music. Porter-Kelly was arrested on Nov. 16 and is being held without bail at the Martinez Detention Facility, according to the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office. County prosecutors have charged Porter-Kelly with robbery and murder with a hate crime enhancement in the killing of 28-year-old Will Sims of Richmond, police said.
On Tuesday, authorities identified two other suspects for whom they are searching: Ray Simons, 32, of Hercules, and Daniel Ortega, 31, of Novato or Richmond. The two, both of whom are white, are considered armed and dangerous.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, authorities say that Sims was jumped inside a pool hall called the Capri Club in El Sobrante, California and left for dead on the street. A sergeant with the sheriff’s office came across Sims’ body in the street near the pool hall just after 2 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Sheriff’s Department says he was robbed, beaten and shot. Police have not released why they believe that Sims was targeted because of his race, however they have attached a hate crime enhancement to the charges.
The Costa County Sheriff’s press release says,
“On Saturday, November 12, 2016, at about 2:11 a.m., a Sheriff’s Office Sergeant discovered William Sims lying in the roadway in the area of Appian Way and Garden Lane in El Sobrante. Sims had been beaten and shot and was pronounced deceased at the scene. Sims was 28-years-old and was from Richmond, where he was a musician and worked in retail. He had no gang ties and no criminal history.”
According to The San Francisco Chronicle, Sims’ sister, Stacey, said:
“He loved music. He loved making friends. He was the best brother a sister could ever have. It’s been very difficult. It still seems unreal.”
Sims played in an award-winning university jazz group, the newspaper said, adding that Sims was described as charismatic and kind.
Anyone with information on the incident or the whereabouts of Ortega or Simons can contact the sheriff’s department anonymously at (866) 846-3592.