DeKalb County

‘I’m still in shock:’ Metro Atlanta city councilman, father coping with murder of daughter

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A local city councilman and father is talking to Channel 2 after his daughter, who was a ride-share driver, was shot and killed after getting caught in the middle of a fight between her passenger and another man.

“I’m still in shock. Still can’t believe it. Just trying to be strong for the family right now,” said Peachtree Corners City Councilman Joe Sawyer.

The harsh reality is slowly settling in for Sawyer.

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His daughter, 31-year-old Lauren Allen, a mother of three, was shot and killed while working as a Lyft driver on Monday night in the area of Cedar Croft Court in Lithonia.

Channel 2 first broke the news about the shooting Monday on WSB Tonight at 11.

Police said she was dropping off a passenger, who got into an argument with a man.

“The girl went to get her baby. The guy came out shooting. She made it up the street at the end of the subdivision and she was talking to 911,” said Sawyer.


Police said that the shooting happened in a subdivision off Wellborn Road. The shooter then took off and entered the Shell gas station just down the street.

Police said they saw 23-year-old Lerelle Chatman with a rifle in his hand. He started shooting at officers, and they shot back and killed him.

Councilman Sawyer said he just talked to his daughter hours before at the store.

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“We talked and the last thing she said to me was ‘Thank you, Daddy’ because I paid for all of her stuff out of the dollar store. She said, ‘Thank you, Daddy, I love you.’”

That’s the last memory he has of his daughter. It’s something he will never forget.

Sawyer said he knows his daughter is now in God’s hands, but it’s hard to understand.

“Why? Why? Just why?” Sawyer asked.

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