MILTON, Ga. -- A 25-year-old Cumming man shot and killed the mother of his two children during a child custody exchange Sunday, according to Milton police.
Christopher Erdman was charged with murder and is being held at the Fulton County Jail.
Erdman and-25 year old Shannon Lawrence met around 2 p.m. in the back parking lot of a Wells Fargo Bank on Birmingham Highway for the exchange, Milton Police Captain Shane McCarty said. A man in a church nearby heard several gunshots and called police.
When officers arrived, they said, they found an abandoned car, four shell casings on the pavement, and a pool of blood. As they began to trace the owner of the car, Northside Hospital Forsyth called, saying Erdman had pulled up to their Cumming location with Lawrence in the back of his pickup truck, McCarty said.
Police aren't saying exactly where the children were but McCarty told Channel 2 Action News Reporter Tony Thomas that “indications now is that (the shooting) was in front of the children."
Police said they have not recovered the murder weapon as of Sunday night. A few miles from the murder scene, Lawrence’s mother, Diana Macksey, stood in the front of her Canton home holding a picture of her daughter.
"Shannon was the most beautiful kind loving soul," she told Thomas. "This is just all surreal. I can't believe right now that this is really happening."
Macksey said Lawrence had a protective order against Erdman and the child custody exchanges were supposed to be supervised. She told Thomas that Lawrence and Erdman were supposed to meet at a nearby Publix grocery store parking lot Sunday, but at the last minute, Erdman changed the location to the more secluded bank.
"No mother should have to go through this," Macksey said.
The family said Lawrence and Erdman never married but had a 3-year-old and 1-year-old son. Macksey said her new focus is to be reunited with the children.
"I just want them home safe, where they can be in the beds, and I know they are being fed and taken care of," she said.
Police aren't saying where the children are but said, "They are safe and accounted for." Macksey said her daughter and the two children were living with her in Canton. Lawrence was attending Kennessaw State University where she planned to enter the Nursing program. For now, Macksey said she tries to remember the good times, not the last few hours this weekend.
"We had a family wedding last weekend, and it was just a wonderful time. Those are the memories I'm going to keep with me. I just can't think about the rest," she said.
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