Suspect with criminal record arrested in shooting death of 14-year-old

Sonja Star Harrison, 14, was killed by a stray bullet Monday night in southwest Atlanta as she was babysitting her young nephews. (Family photo)

Sonja Star Harrison, 14, was killed by a stray bullet Monday night in southwest Atlanta as she was babysitting her young nephews. (Family photo)

Atlanta police have arrested a 20-year-old suspect in the shooting death of a 14-year-old who was eight months pregnant.

On Thursday, Souleymane Diallo was booked into the Fulton County Jail on charges of second-degree murder of Sonja Star Harrison, causing the death of her unborn child and other crimes, police said.

Harrison was killed Monday at a Southwest Atlanta apartment complex after a bullet came through the ceiling of the apartment where she was babysitting her young nephews and struck her in the head, killing her and her unborn baby.

Fulton County jail records show Diallo has been in and out of jail since at least 2015 for a number of previous crimes, including shoplifting, disorderly conduct, cruelty to children, willful obstruction of law enforcement, public drunkenness, public indecency, possession of controlled substances and probation violations.

20-year-old Souleymane Diallo was arrested Thursday by Atlanta police and was booked on charges of murder and feticide in the deaths of a 14-year-old and her unborn baby.

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The records show he had most recently been released from jail Oct. 18, after being held on a shoplifting charge.

When contacted Thursday afternoon by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Sonja Denise Harrison, the deceased girl’s mother, said she had just heard of the arrest.

“Folks saying he’s the baby’s father,’’ she told the AJC. “He is not the father. He is not the father.”

Sonja D. Harrison said that a vigil will be held for her 14-year-old daughter at Dec. 4 at Pavilion Place apartments in Atlanta’s Hammond Park community. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

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Harrison said she would not provide any more details until

she spoke with the attorney who is handling the case.

The youngest of seven children, eighth-grader Sonja Harrison was well loved and “a people person,”her mother said. She described the 14-year-old as “sweet, bright and helpful.” The teen had aspirations of going into the Army after she graduated high school, she said.

“She wanted to have a better future for her and her baby,” Harrison said. “Only thing I can tell you about my child is that she will be totally missed. She will be so much missed just like that bundle of joy she was carrying.”

The teen was expected to deliver a baby girl just before New Year's Day.

The family is holding a candlelight vigil for the slain teen at 6 p.m. on Dec. 4 at the Pavilion Place Apartments on Cleveland Avenue where the shooting took place.

In addition to the murder and feticide charges, Diallo was booked on charges of reckless conduct and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. No other arrests have been made.

Lisa Bender, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta Police Department, could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

Police are continuing to investigate the shooting, along with another shooting that occurred hours later at the apartment complex.

At around 3 a.m. Tuesday officers returned to a different unit after a caller reported a possible suicide. A woman was found dead with gunshot wound to the head, police said.

The two shooting deaths did not appear to be related, police have said.