Gwinnett County

Balloon release held for Lyft driver shot, killed after dropping passenger off in DeKalb County

NORCROSS, Ga. — Family and friends came together and hosted a balloon release to honor a 31-year-old Lyft driver who was fatally shot after dropping off a passenger on Monday.

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Dozens showed up to celebrate Lauren Kristara Sawyer-Allen, of Peachtree Corners.

She was shot to death inside her car on Monday.

Allen was the daughter of Peachtree Corners Councilman Joe Sawyer.

The balloon release took place Friday evening at Lillian Webb Park in Norcross.

Friends remember Allen as a kind person, who would do anything to help others.

“I’m so honored to have met her, and had her in my life and been so close with her. It’s something that I’ll cherish forever,” Nandi Solomon said.

Allen’s funeral will be on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022 at Peachtree Corners Baptist Church at 11 a.m. The burial will follow at Peachtree Memorial Park.

Allen’s family asked that donations be made to the GoFundMe that has been set up for Allen’s children.


Investigators believe Allen had just dropped off a passenger at Cedar Croft Court when the passenger got into an argument with a man.

Channel 2′s Larry Spruill first reported on the scene on WSB Tonight as police blocked off the intersection for the investigation.

Police said the man, identified as 23-year-old Lerelle Chatman, fired several gunshots into Allen’s car before he took off.

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Police said they spotted Chatman with a rifle and that he began firing at them. Several shots hit the officers’ car and another car at the gas station.

DeKalb officers returned fire at Chatman and killed him. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has taken over the investigation into Chatman’s death.