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October 19, 2017

Warrants Reveal New Information in Cullowhee Shooting Case

Details have come to light in the shooting of a Western Carolina University student last weekend.  Search warrants indicate that Western Carolina University police believe that shooting victim Jacob Ray knew fellow student Aja Makalo. Makalo is being held on attempted murder charges.

Zavion Southerland, 17, is also charged with attempted murder in the incident. Both suspects were arrested in Mecklenberg County and extradited to Jackson County.

District Attorney Ashley Welch said those charges will likely be upgraded in a few days or weeks as the investigation is still open.

Investigators have reason to believe Jacob Ray was involved in drug activity, a possible motive for the shooting. Police are also seeking more information regarding motive and possible additional suspects.

Friends of Jacob Ray’s are planning a campus candlelight vigil 9 p.m. Wednesday at the fountain area of the university’s Central Plaza.

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