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2 suspects now arrested in WCU student shooting, both charged with attempted murder

Two people have now been arrested in the shooting of a Western Carolina student, and both are charged with attempted murder. (Photo: Gaston County Sheriff's Office, Meclkenburg County Sheriff's Office)

Two people have now been arrested in the shooting of a Western Carolina student, and both are charged with attempted murder.

First the Western Carolina University Police Department and the State Bureau of Investigation confirmed the arrest Saturday of Aja Makalo of Charlotte on a charge of attempted murder.

Now those agencies say they have also arrested Zavion Southerland, 17, also of Charlotte, on Saturday. Southerland is also charged with attempted murder in the shooting.

The Friday night shooting in which the two are charged seriously injured Western Carolina University student Jacob Alexander Ray, 21, near the campus.

Makalo is a Western Carolina University student. Southerland is not affiliated with the university,

Southerland was arrest by the SBI in Gastonia. On Sunday, authorities say he is being held without bond.

Police did not indicate the relationship between the two suspects arrested. News 13 has reached out for additional information.

The shooting occurred around midnight Friday along Old Cullowhee Road, adjacent to the campus.

Jacob Alexander Ray of Hendersonville sustained serious injuries in the incident and was transported to Mission Hospital in Asheville, where he remains in serious condition.

“The investigation is continuing to develop, with many details and investigative leads being pursued,” said Western Carolina University Chief of Police Ernie Hudson.


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