Charlese Brooks

Charlese Brooks’ family says she was shot and killed Tuesday night trying to stop violence between two women.

“The peacemakers are always the victims,” Brooks’ aunt, Charleen Dennis, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.

The woman accused of shooting Brooks, Terri Chimon Williams, 34, turned herself in to police Wednesday morning and is being charged with murder, police said.

Brooks, a 35-year-old entrepreneur and mother of four who had recently taken in six foster children, was trying to stop an altercation between her friend and a woman she didn’t know, relatives said.

It is unclear what caused the argument, but the fight, Dennis believes, stemmed from a text message.

“I don’t know what it said, but I would love to know,” she said.

The shooting happened around 6:30 p.m. on the sidewalk of the 800 block of Bouldercrest Road, near the Brick House Restaurant in East Atlanta, police said.

Brooks stepped in to stop a fight and the would-be combatants separated, Dennis said. But Williams allegedly returned with a weapon and opened fire.

“It’s sad that she was the only one who was hit,” Dennis said of her niece. “She didn’t have anything to do with the fight.”

Dennis said Brooks’ mother and several of her children witnessed the shooting.

“The whole family is hurting,” she said. “Words can’t explain.”

Brooks died at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds, Atlanta police homicide unit commander Capt. Paul Guerrucci said.

In a statement emailed to The AJC Wednesday morning after Williams surrendered, attorney W. Scott Smith declared his client’s innocence.

“Ms. Terri Williams voluntarily presented herself to detectives this morning,” 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.”

Guerrucci said investigators continue to probe the shooting, but hasn’t confirmed the claims that Brooks’ family made about the text message or Brooks’ attempt to stop the argument.

“There are a lot of dynamics to this case,” he said. “Information that we gathered during their preliminary stage of our investigation indicates that there was a verbal argument that escalated into the shooting. We still have a lot of work to do.”

Relatives said Brooks owned a used car dealership and a moving truck rental franchise in Atlanta’s Cabbagetown community, and a tax preparation business in Atlanta. 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.

Brooks, Dennis said, was well known for her charitable spirit.

“She’s a beautiful, kind and loving person,” Dennis said of her niece. “She would take in homeless people. She’ll give you her last.”

That giving nature showed in a past stint as a foster parent — a responsibility Dennis said Brooks had taken on again in recent months, taking in five brothers and a sister.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen to those kids,” she said.

The investigation continues.



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  • Breezy

    May she RIP. This story solidifies my recent actions of weeding out my toxic friendships. I will no longer tolerate gossipy, overly dramatic people who cannot solve problems rationally. These types of people are fun to be around no doubt, but the drama they bring and attract is not worth it.

  • IntelLigent1

    God bless the peacemaker’s family. What a courageously, beautifully well-rounded LADY. She was a real mother. Let us remember her for what she did and not how she left this earth. It does not matter if the shooter goes to jail or not. Ten children lost their mother who and no one can bring her back (except the Lord). Now, the shooter will have all the time in the world to think about some stupid text message. How trivial, cowardly and sad. I hope someone will set up a memorial page. Her family has my prayers.

  • NYCDave

    NO ONE deserves to be shot and killed; no one.

    Something’s not right about this story.

    First off, Auntie, I beg to differ, but it is NOT always the “peacemakers that are the victims”; it’s most usually the combatants that get hurt. THAT makes more sense.

    Not to hate, but I think the victim sounds somewhat gangsta herself; fashioning herself as an “entrepreneur”, and yet, STUFFING her home with an additional SIX foster children, for a grand total of ten kids. All while out attending to her various and sundry businesses?

    Who was WATCHING the children? To me, engaging six foster kids, when you already have FOUR other kids, while it would appear that your business concerns require your presence minding the store, to me, is kinda like child abuse. I heard no mention of a husband, and the aunt appears as the victim’ s spokesperson.

    This kinda smacks of foster child warehousing – a somewhat common phenomenon, wherein a foster parent takes in multiple kids as part of a plan, primarily to increase the foster parent’s cash-flow.

    Secondly, I’m not a big fan of people’s MOTHERS traipsing around with tattoo-bedecked bodies. HOW many kids was she setting an example for, again?

    Third, ANY word from the friend in whose behalf the victim purportedly sought to make peace? I don’t believe that she is quoted in this article;

    and, besides the obvious, that notion that a few posters here have mentioned, that is, that YOU are that with whom you chose to surround yourself; and, finally,

    “peacemakers” aren’t usually shot multiple times, until they are DEAD.

    Notice, in the article, that the police aren’t quick to embrace the victim- as- peacemaker angle, either