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Woman arrested for murder of pregnant Athens woman killed while shielding her son

Police said they do not believe she was intentionally targeted.

ATHENS, Ga. — Police arrested a woman for the murder of an pregnant Athens woman who was shot and killed while trying to protect her toddler son. 

Athens Clarke County Police Department arrested 27-year-old Kiresa Cooper for the murder of Auriel Callaway

Investigators said a fight between two groups escalated into gunfire Monday around 9:45 p.m. Callaway, who was four months pregnant, was running to get away from a shootout at her apartment complex in Athens Clarke County when she was shot down in front of her 3-year-old son, police said. Callaway was an innocent bystander and was attempting to move her child to safety when she was struck, police said.

Credit: Facebook
Auriel Callaway, 24, pictured with child

When officers arrived on the "chaotic" scene they performed life-saving procedures on Callaway and she was taken to a local hospital where she was later pronounced dead. Police said her unborn child also didn't survive.

ACCPD said they do not believe she was intentionally targeted. A family member of Callaway's said she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Family and friends of Callaway described her as "a beautiful soul."

“She was the most positive person you could meet," said DeShun Watkins, Callaway's cousin. "Good energy, always good energy, always had a smile - never seen her not smiling.”

READ MORE: 'She was a beautiful soul' | Pregnant mom who friends say died protecting her son was expecting baby girl

“This reckless act of violence took the life of a young mother in her prime as well as her unborn child,” said ACCPD Chief of Police Cleveland Spruill. “Such senseless violence shall not be tolerated and all our investigative resources and tools were brought to bear to locate and apprehend the suspect.”

ACCPD released a statement thanking the communicate for their willing involvement in the case. 

"We appreciate the assistance of the community and our law enforcement partners in the quick apprehension of Cooper,” Spruill wrote.

Credit: Athens-Clarke County

Police said Cooper was arrested in Cobb County and transported to the Athens-Clarke County Jail. Police said Cooper is facing one count of Aggravated Assault and one count of Felony Murder. Additional charges are expected for Cooper. 

Anyone with evidence, especially video evidence is asked to contact Detective Scott Black at (706-613-3330, ext 798) or Detective Paul Johnson (706-613-3330, ext 522.). 

MORE: Family condemns violence that killed expectant Athens mom who was 'innocent bystander

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