Nathaniel Smith, 24, of Walnut Street has been charged with murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to jail records.
The killing occurred about 4:35 a.m. at Riverside Inn, 954 5th St., according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office dispatcher.
The victim has been identified as Gary Bernard Gregory, 46, of East Taylor Street, said Deputy Coroner Johnny McDonald.
Mr. Gregory was shot in the head, Mr. McDonald said, based on preliminary findings. His body was found by an acquaintance who was visiting his room at the motel, according to the Sheriff's Office.
He was declared dead at 5:40 a.m. Mr. Gregory's body is now at the GBI Crime Lab on Phinizy Road, where an autopsy will likely be performed Sunday, Mr. McDonald said.
Deputies arrested Mr. Smith about 11 a.m. when they raided a home in the 200 block of Aragon Drive. Investigators have not yet determined a motive for the shooting, but Mr. McDonald said robbery is a possibility. He said relatives of Mr. Gregory said he had a large sum of money on him.