Mike Hollins, one of the University of Virginia students who survived Sunday night's, does not yet know three of were killed, his mother said.
In her first television interview since the shooting, Brenda Hollins told CBS News that her son, a running back for the school's football team, is using pen and paper to ask about his friends.
"He can't talk, but he has written D'Sean's name," she said. "He has written Devin's name. And then I believe it was an L — I don't know what he was writing at the bottom, but he was taking the marker and beating on it because he wants to know."
Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D'Sean Perry were killed in the shooting on a bus as it pulled into a campus garage. They were returning from a field trip.
An eyewitness said the alleged shooter, former UVA football player Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., was on board.
"What I'm hearing is Mike made it off the bus, but went back to help his friends and was shot," Brenda Hollins said of the information that came to her second hand. "So, that's my baby. I could absolutely see him doing that."
She said her son was shot in the back and the bullet exited through his stomach. He is in critical but stable condition after two surgeries, she said.
"It's the call that you never want to get," she said. "You hear other people receiving [those calls], and you hope and pray that you never get it. But when you do, your world stops."
She also said she had a feeling the night before the shooting that something was wrong.
"I was having a hard time sleeping, falling asleep, I just felt uneasy," she said, saying it was about her "connection" with her son. "I felt something."
Brenda Hollins said her son is "so kindhearted."
"When he loves you, he loves you," she said. "He works hard and he sets his goals high. He strives. He is a fighter."
The 22-year-old suspect is being held in a Virginia jail. Brenda Hollins said she is praying for him and his family.
"It's hard to not be angry," she said. "But I'm working through that. … I pray for them. … His family, they're victims also. I pray for them and I'm working through forgiveness. Because we have to, we have to forgive."
The suspect could be arraigned as early as Wednesday. In addition to second-degree murder charges, he could face federal charges if he brought weapons into Washington, D.C., on the field trip.