DA's office files accusation in Briana 'Thumpa" Callaway homicide case


Tre Almonte Foster

By Joe Johnson

An Athens man this week was formally charged in connection with an incident more than a year ago in which a pregnant woman was killed.

In an accusation filed Wednesday in Clarke County Superior Court by the Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney Office, 27-year-old Tre Almonte Foster was charged with reckless conduct and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Foster allegedly put people's safety at risk when he fired a gun into the air at Clarke Gardens on July 22, 2019, during a fight at the apartment complex off Barnett Shoals Road.

Gunfire connected to the fight killed 24-year-old Auriel Briana “Thumpa” Callaway. She was struck by a bullet that was fired in the fight near her apartment, where she reportedly was rushing her young son to safety.


Auriel Briana "Thumpa" with her son, Mason

Callaway was four months pregnant with a child who also died.

The alleged shooter, 26-year-old Kiresa Shanice Cooper, also of Clarke Gardens, was indicted by a grand jury for malice and felony murder, feticide, four counts of aggravated assault, and six counts of possession of a firearm while in the commission of a felony.

Two of the aggravated assault charges were from Cooper allegedly firing her gun in the direction of two other females, according to the indictment.

Cooper’s sister, Kadrica Yearby told Classic City News that in conversations at the jail, Cooper admitted to firing a gun in the air in an attempt to break up fighting. She said she could not understand how the bullet that killed Callaway could be linked to her sister’s gun when there were dozens of spent bullet casings at the scene.


Kiresa Cooper

Two of the aggravated assault charges were from Cooper allegedly firing her gun in the direction of two other females, according to the indictment.

Cooper’s sister, Kadrica Yearby told Classic City News that in conversations at the jail, Cooper admitted to firing a gun in the air in an attempt to break up fighting. She said she could not understand how the bullet that killed Callaway could be linked to her sister’s gun when there were dozens of spent bullet casings at the scene

The death of the well-liked young woman galvanized members of Athens’ Black community into taking action to reduce gun violence in their communities through such initiatives as youth mentoring, conflict resolution and a gun buy-back program.

The police investigation did not end with Cooper’s arrest.

In February of this year, Athens-Clarke County police arrested 20-year-old Jerimirra Sheats on warrants issued as part of the Callaway death investigation. He was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of drugs near public housing, theft by possession of stolen property, possession of a firearm during the commission of certain felonies, and two counts of violating the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.

A formal accusation against Sheats has not been filed and his case has yet to be presented to a grand jury, and he remains free on a $5,000 good security bond.


Jerimirra Sheats

The following month, police arrested Foster on warrants charging him with reckless conduct, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a controlled substance, and violating the state Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.

The drug and gang charges were not included in Foster’s formal accusation.

Foster last month was granted a $7,500 good security bond.

Police in April arrested 19-year-old Smokey Road resident Xavier Mitchell on warrants charging him with reckless conduct, theft by receiving stolen property, and violating the street gang statute, all in connection with events at Clarke Gardens the night Callaway was killed.

He is free on a $25,000 good security bond while awaiting indictment or accusation.


Xavier Mitchell

At the time, events surrounding Calloway’s death continued to be actively investigated, according to Capt. Christopher Nichols, commanding officer of the Athens-Clarke County police Criminal Investigations Division.

“Additional charges have resulted from other people’s actions that night, even though they may not have been the person that fired the deadly shot,” he said. “By charging these additional persons, the police department reaffirms its stance that we will not tolerate unlawful gun possession and usage or gang violence.”

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