Families of Grand Hall shooting victim and suspect share their stories

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Two mothers, both torn apart, but for very different reasons.

One lost her daughter in a shooting, the other is the mother of the alleged shooter.

“For the rest of my life, I have to go through this not being able to see her, touch her,” said Valeria Baker, Anesa Baker’s mom.

On April 1, 2018, hundreds gathered at the Grand Hall for a pre-spring break concert, when shots rang out.

Police say seven were injured during the shooting. One of them, 15-year-old Anesa Baker, who died from her injuries a week and a half later.

A month later, in May, then 19-year-old JaMarkus Holified was arrested and charged with murder. Holifield’s mom maintains he’s innocent.

“I send my condolences, and I hate this happened. If you think about it, at that party, my son was there. My son didn’t do that. My son is innocent and I’m going to stick to that until he has his day in court,” said Valarie Autry, Holifield’s mom.

Court testimony says a fight started between two females inside the venue on Halls Mill Road. The family of the two girls were called, and when they arrived, shots were fired.

Court testimony also revealed that casings were found from four different guns outside the building, and three 9mm casings were found inside.

Baker was shot inside the venue. Holifield has admitted being inside but claims he did not shoot.

“My son didn’t do it. He was there too. He was scared for his life,” said Autry.

Prosecutors tell a different story, they say Holifield was trying to shoot a rival gang member when Baker was hit.

Baker’s mom says she’s ready to get justice for her daughter.

“I just really wish that he would go ahead and plead guilty so we don’t have to go on through a trial. Because every time I hear my daughter’s name in court, it just tears me up because I can’t see my daughter ever again,” said Baker.

Holifield will be back in court on December 4th, for a youthful offender hearing.


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