Arthur J. Holt Jr. celebrated his birthday less than week before he was fatally shot in the Hardaway Building Parking Garage Sunday.
Janice Holt, 26-year-old Holt's mother, said her family is still trying to piece together what happened after police informed them that a confrontation outside of the Broadway Mario's Restaurant led to her son's death.
"The only thing I know is that Arthur didn't start anything," Holt said. "I just don't understand all this senseless violence."
Police told Janice that after the altercation began at the restaurant, a group of people started running to the Hardaway Parking Garage, her son among them. At that time, 21-year-old suspected gunman Marquis Tirese Shaw allegedly fired into the crowd, hitting Holt numerous times.
Holt was found in the deck (at the corner of 10th Street and Front Avenue) at about 3 a.m., suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was later pronounced dead at the Midtown Medical Center.
A second man was also shot at, but was uninjured. He provided police with an initial description of the suspect. It is unclear whether the suspect knew the victims prior to the incident.
Shaw has been charged with one count of murder and one count of aggravated assault. He was arrested on 10th Street in Phenix City at about 9 p.m., Sunday.
Janice described her son as respectable and loving, with a passion for cooking. A TSYS employee along with his mother, Holt recently had decided to go back to school and finish his bachelor's degree in business management. He planned to finish at Troy University.
"His younger brother recently started at the University of Alabama," Janice said. "He said, 'I can't let my baby brother beat me.'"
After he finished school, Holt tentatively planned to attend a culinary school.
"He was a sweet child. He was respectable, loving and kind," Janice said. "We pray for the young man (Shaw), and we'll let the courts take care of it. But we pray for him.
Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said Sunday that police were checking to see if there was a connection between the altercation at Mario's and the shooting. Police confirmed the connection Monday.
Shaw will appear in Columbus Recorder's Court on Tuesday.
Holt's death is the city's 22nd homicide of 2013.
Ben Wright and Tim Chitwood contributed to this story.