Woman charged with murder of young pregnant mother

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Police have arrested an Athens woman in Monday's shooting death of a pregnant woman outside of her apartment complex, Athens-Clarke County Police announced Thursday.

Investigators took Kiresa Cooper, 27, into custody Wednesday night in Cobb County and transported her to the Athens-Clarke County Jail.

Police charged Cooper with one count of aggravated assault and one count of felony murder.  Investigators expect to file additional charges against Cooper.

The shooting happened around 9:45 Monday night at the Clarke Gardens Apartments when a fight between 2 groups escalated into gunfire.

Police describe the shooting victim, 24-year-old Ariel Callaway, as an innocent bystander who was attempting to move her 3-year-old son to safety when a bullet struck her.

Police investigators do not believe Callaway was intentionally targeted.

Athens-Clarke County officers performed CPR on the victim at the scene before first responders rushed her to a local hospital where she and her unborn child died.

"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 in a news release.  "Such senseless violence shall not be tolerated and all our investigative resources and tools were brought to bear to locate and apprehend the suspect."

The police department praised members of the community who came forward with details about the shooting.

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

The ACCPD continues to ask that anyone with information, especially video evidence related to the incident, to come forward.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Athens-Clarke County Detectives Scott Black at 706-613-3330, ext. 798 or Paul Johnson at 706-613-3330 at ext. 522.

Speaking on behalf of his family, Callaway's uncle, former UGA player and current Director of Player Programs, Bryant Gantt called for an end to the violence.

"It hurts to see this environment turn into what it is," said Gantt.  "If we could just come together [...] just as a unit, we got to start somewhere.  So, we want to start at home first. If we could start at home and try to stop the violence at home, maybe it'll trickle out throughout the country, throughout the nation."

MORE: Pregnant mother killed trying to shield toddler from gunfire