Police: Harbison Olive Garden shooting was not random

Olive Garden restaurant, Harbison / Hank McDonald

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- The Dec.29 shooting that took place at the Olive Garden on Harbison was not a random act of violence.

The Lexington County Coroner's Office and the Columbia Police Department are investigating a homicide that occured outside the Olive Garden restaurant on Harbison Boulevard at approximately 8:55 p.m. on Thursday, December 29.

The initial call went out about 9:00pm on December 29. When Columbia Police arrived, they found Hoefer lying in the parking lot. He was transported to a local hospital where he was later prounounced dead.

CPD Investigators believe Hoefer was a patron at the Olive Garden and visited the restaurant to dine with family members. Investigators believe that Hoefer stepped away from a family gathering to talk with someone when he was shot in the parking lot and collapsed. Investigators continued to gather information about the shooting.

According to Lexington County Coroner Harry O. Harrman, Thomas T. Hoefer, 21, of Columbia, SC, was shot in the chest and suffered fatal injuries. Mr. Hoefer was transported to Lexington Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:20 p.m.

A December 30 autopsy revealed the cause of death was bleeding into the lungs.

City of Columbia Chief Randy Scott said today Hoefer may have known the person who shot him. Hoefer was found

WACH FOX News will continue to follow this developing story and bring you the latest updates.