Karalo Brownlee
Photo: DeKalb County Police Department
Photo: DeKalb County Police Department

Man charged in DeKalb shooting; woman killed while trying to break up fight involving son

Police have made an arrest in the case of a 45-year-old woman who was shot in the back and killed last week while attempting to break up a fight involving her son, authorities said.

Karalo Brownlee, 30, of Atlanta, turned himself in at the DeKalb County jail Tuesday on charges of murder and aggravated assault, police said.

Brownlee is accused of killing Carlesa Reneau during a shootout at the Forest at Columbia apartments on Columbia Drive last Wednesday, but police do not believe she was the intended target.

RELATED: Woman killed after getting caught in middle of DeKalb shootout ID’d

Authorities said Reneau was trying to keep her son from fighting with Brownlee when shots rang out.


A bullet allegedly fired from Brownlee’s rifle tore through the back of Reneau’s car and through her chest, according to a DeKalb police incident report. 

She was taken to a hospital, where she later died.

Witnesses told officers two men were arguing, and that the woman was trying to get her son into the car when she was killed, according to the report. 

The woman’s son, identified by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office as Dedrick Jerrod Lawless, allegedly pulled out a black handgun and exchanged gunfire with Brownlee before Reneau was killed.

It’s unclear what led to the verbal altercation between the two men and who fired their gun first. DeKalb police said they are not searching for any other suspects in the case. 

Brownlee is being held at the DeKalb County jail without bond, records show. 

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