The Atlanta Police Department has recently made an arrest in connection with the tragic shooting of a Clark Atlanta University student-athlete, Jatonne Sterling. The 20-year-old was killed on Tuesday in the parking lot of the Lyke House Catholic Center next to a student housing complex. The police have charged 25-year-old Keontay Holliman-Peoples with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of marijuana, and conspiracy to commit a felony.
During a Thursday news conference, the police revealed that Sterling knew the suspect, and the shooting occurred in a car behind the center’s parking lot. Officials confirmed an exchange of gunfire occurred, and the suspect was also injured, but it is unclear if he was hurt in the shooting. Another person was in the car at the time of the shooting, and the police are still searching for them.
Sterling, originally from Chicago, was a sophomore at the university and played baseball. He was described by his high school coach, Ernest Radcliff, as a young man with great integrity. Sterling had been in Radcliff’s program since he was 12 years old, and he was an outstanding student-athlete. Radcliff said, “One of the best kids you could ever want, a coach’s dream.”
The incident has left students at the university distraught and concerned about their safety. Students expressed disappointment that the university did not immediately alert them when the shooting occurred. Clark Atlanta Police said a safety alert was issued after the incident happened. A candlelight vigil was held on Wednesday evening to honor Sterling.
Jada Somerville, a Clark Atlanta student, shared her experience, saying, “I saw his body from the parking lot.” She mourned Sterling’s loss and dealt with the trauma that came with how she found out about the incident. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Police Department has urged anyone with information about the other person involved in the shooting to call CrimeStoppers.