An Atlanta-area college baseball player was shot to death after an argument with an acquaintance led to an “exchange of gunfire” inside a parked car, cops said Thursday.
Clark Atlanta University student Jatonne Sterling was found dead around 1:40 p.m. outside another Georgia university’s church, located about a mile from the 20-year-old’s campus.
His alleged killer, Keontay Holliman-Peoples, was charged Thursday with murder, aggravated assault and other charges.
Though a motive for the slaying has yet to be uncovered, cops believe the two were arguing inside a car when Holliman-Peoples, 25, allegedly pulled the trigger.
According to police, Sterling climbed into a car parked inside the Catholic center lot shortly before “some type of dispute occurred.”
“Whatever type of dispute escalated into gunfire and then that’s where we had the exchange of gunfire. So everything happened inside that vehicle,” Atlanta police deputy chief Charles Hampton Jr. said.
Holliman-Peoples was also injured in the gunfight, but it’s unclear whether Sterling was the one who shot him — police are looking for a third person who was in the car for the murder.
Sterling and Holliman-Peoples had known one another, and exchanged “correspondence” prior to the fatal shooting, Hampton said.
“This was not a random homicide,” the deputy chief said. “Unfortunately, Jatonne knew this individual.”
Cops said Holliman-Peoples — who isn’t a student at the university — has a criminal history spanning two states.
CAU students held a vigil Wednesday in honor of Sterling, who was a sophomore at the school.
The Chicago native was remembered as a standout player and athlete.
“I got to bury another ball player,” said Sterling’s high school basketball coach Ernest Radcliffe told ABC 7. “We’re not supposed to do that.”