Woman arrested in death of pregnant mother shot trying to shield son from gunfire

ATHENS, Ga. — Police have arrested a 27-year-old woman in the murder of a pregnant mother in Athens earlier this week.

Kiresa Cooper was taken into custody Wednesday night and charged with aggravated assault and felony murder in the death of Auriel Callaway. More charges are expected.

Callaway was killed Monday night by a stray bullet during a fight at an Athens apartment complex.

Pregnant mom killed shielding son from gunfire

Police say as the argument got heated, both groups started firing shots. Callaway, an innocent bystander, grabbed her 3-year-old son and was trying to move him to safety when she was hit.

Callaway was four months pregnant.

Channel 2's Tyisha Fernandes

was there as Athens-Clarke County police held a news conference Thursday explaining what led up to the arrest.


Police confirmed that the fight began when a group of teenagers got into an argument. Spruill said police have seen cellphone video of the fight that led up to the shooting.

"This all began with kids fighting," Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Cleveland Lee Spruill said. "This reckless act took the life of a young mother in her prime, as well as her unborn child."

Spruill said police tracked down Cooper and arrested her at her Cobb County home. She could face more charges as the investigation continues, police said.

"I cannot think of a more tragic circumstance than for an innocent young mother to be gunned down in front of her residence while her young child looked on," Spruill said.

Spruill said police intend to arrest everyone involved because more than one person was shooting.

Callway's mother could barely stand up while Spruill talked about what happened. The victim's uncle, Bryant Gantt, held her up.

Fernandes spoke to Gantt, an assistant football coach at the University of Georgia.

Gantt said he grew up in the neighborhood and it's a shame that it's turned into such a violent environment. He said it wasn't as bad when he was a child.

"If we could just start at home here in Athens first, to try and just stop the violence," Gantt said. "I'm hoping they got the right person."

Gantt said the family wants justice, but that doesn't help lessen the tragedy.

"It still doesn't change the fact that we lost a good person," Gantt said.

A memorial in front of Callaway's apartment is still growing. Her childhood friend told Fernandes that Callaway was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"The crazy thing to me is that she hasn't even been staying at home," Callaway's friend said. "She's been staying with her grandma. I just hate that she was out here. She didn't deserve it."