Mom of Virginia-Highland victim: ‘He was running away -- why?'

Ann Boyer has a question for the masked gunman who killed her son, Charles Boyer, in Virginia-Highland Monday night.

"He was running away -- why did they have to kill him?" the 67-year-old woman sobbed on Wednesday. "He didn't have any weapons. He was such a kind person, very responsible and very honest. He was running away -- why?"

Charles Boyer, 39, grew up in Jonesboro, studied physics and computer science at Georgia Tech, and was a huge Yellow Jackets fan who went to the Tech men's basketball game with his dad a week ago.

After working in California as a computer engineer, Charles Boyer moved back to Atlanta and ran his own business selling cellphones. He was a voracious reader who read 60-plus books this year, his mom said.

The middle of three children, Boyer was to join more than 20 family members and friends at his parents' house in Jonesboro for Thanksgiving dinner.

"That was our plan, but my son died senselessly, on the street," Ann Boyer said. "We were also planning the Georgia Tech-Georgia game. He was going to come home to watch, and I was going to cook his favorite, stuffed green peppers."

Boyer and his girlfriend, Lisa McGraw, took Boyer's 9-year-old nephew to the Cirque du Soleil show on Sunday night. Boyer and McGraw went out again Monday, going for drinks and then stopping at a convenience store before heading to the Virginia Avenue apartments where she lived.

Masked men put a gun to McGraw's head as she got out of the car, police said. They stole her purse and cellphone and ordered her to give up her apartment keys, police said.

As they walked the couple toward the apartment, McGraw and Boyer ran from the suspects in opposite directions, police said. McGraw told police she heard several gunshots as she fled.

The service for Charles Boyer will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Horis A. Ward Tara Chapel, 681 North Ave. in Jonesboro. Burial will follow at Georgia Memorial Park in Marietta.

The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Horis A. Ward Funeral Home.