A mother of four was shot to death Tuesday night in southeast Atlanta, and family members said she was trying to stop a fight between two women.
But police on Wednesday said they are still trying to determine the circumstances of the shooting that left Ms. Charlese Brooks dead.
They have arrested a suspect, Ms. Terri Chimon Williams, for her murder, according to Atlanta police.
Around 6:30 p.m., officers responded to 885 Bouldercrest Drive regarding a person shot, police spokesman Officer John Chafee.
When they arrived they found the 35-year-old woman dead from multiple gunshot wounds, Officer Chafee said.
“The preliminary investigation indicates that this began as a verbal altercation between two acquaintances and the altercation escalated to gunfire,” Officer Chafee said.
Ms. Brooks’ family told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution she was trying to keep the peace.
“The peacemakers are always the victims,” Ms. Brooks’ aunt, Ms. Charleen Dennis said.
Ms. Brooks, who had recently taken in six foster children, was trying to stop a fight between her friend and a woman she didn’t know, relatives said.
It is unclear what caused the argument, but Ms. Dennis believes it's related to a text message.
“I don’t know what it said, but I would love to know,” she said.
Ms. Brooks stepped in to stop a fight and the two women separated, Ms. Dennis said. But Ms. Williams allegedly returned with a weapon and opened fire.
“It’s sad that she was the only one who was hit,” Ms. Dennis said of her niece, according to the paper. “She didn’t have anything to do with the fight.”
Ms. Dennis said Ms. Brooks’ mother and several of her children witnessed the shooting.
“The whole family is hurting,” she said. “Words can’t explain.”
Ms. Williams, 34, turned herself in to police Wednesday morning and is being charged with murder, police said. She was taken to the DeKalb County police where she remained Wednesday night without bond, officials said.
In a statement emailed to The AJC Wednesday morning, attorney Mr. W. Scott Smith declared his client’s innocence.
“Ms. Terri Williams voluntarily presented herself to detectives this morning,” Mr. Smith said. “We feel that law enforcement will perform a thorough and professional investigation into this incident. We strongly believe that Ms. Williams will be fully exonerated.”
Relatives said Ms. Brooks owned a used car dealership and a moving truck rental franchise in Atlanta’s Cabbagetown community, and a tax preparation business in Atlanta, the paper reported. She also recently had purchased a home in Rex, they said.
Her children are a 19-year-old college football player, girls ages 14 and 13, and a 4-year-old boy, relatives said.
Ms. Brooks was well known for her charitable spirit, her aunt told the paper.
“She’s a beautiful, kind and loving person,” Ms. Dennis said. “She would take in homeless people. She’ll give you her last.”
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