Athens, GA (WGCL ) — The family of a pregnant mother shot and killed while trying to protect her young son during a shootout held a gun buyback event in Athens over the weekend.
Police say 24 year-old Auriel Callaway was carrying her three-year-old son to safety when she was hit by a stray bullet during a confrontation between women in the complex on July 22. Investigators say she was an innocent bystander.
“My understanding is she was trying to move her son out of the way and she got hit by bullets,” said Jermaine Arnold, who lives nearby.
Police obtained warrants, searched multiple homes and detained several people.
“We had an unprecedented amount of support and involvement from the community to help us understand who did this,” Athens-Clark County Police Chief Cleveland Spruill said.
That support eventually led to the capture of 27-year-old Kiresa Shanice Cooper. She is now facing multiple charges. Police say they are still looking for a second shooter.
Meanwhile, Callaway’s family gathered dozens of firearms at the buyback event.
“That makes me feel good that we’re getting guns off the street. I appreciate everybody that came out, that brought guns. They show me they love what we’re doing, they’re supporting my child,” said LaShanda Callaway, the victim’s mother.
Callaway’s family says they’re not against gun ownership, they just want to make the community a safer place.