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October 19, 2017

WCU Student Succumbs to Injuries from Weekend Shooting

A Western Carolina student who was shot on Friday was taken off life support, according to his family. Jacob Ray was shot adjacent to the WCU campus Friday night.

Two suspects, Aja Makalo,19, and Zavion Southerland, 17, are charged with attempted murder in Ray’s shooting. There is no word from the District Attorney’s office on whether those charges will change in the case.

So far no motive has been released in the shooting.


Friends of Ray, a junior from Hendersonville majoring in computer information systems, are planning a campus candlelight vigil in his honor. It is set for 9 p.m. Wednesday at the fountain area of Central Plaza at Western Carolina University.

Staff members from the Division of Student Affairs are in contact with the family and will share additional information about funeral arrangements when it becomes available.

“The entire Western Carolina University community mourns the loss of such a promising young life,” said Chancellor David O. Belcher. “We offer our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Jacob Ray during this unimaginably difficult time. Jacob Ray will always be a Catamount.”

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