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Charlotte teens charged in murder of Western Carolina student

Two Charlotte teens are now charged with murder in connecting with the shooting death of a Western Carolina University student. (Photo credit: Victor Ray/WLOS)

CULLOWHEE, N.C. — Two Charlotte teens have been charged with murder in the shooting death of a Western Carolina University student, according to WLOS.

Jacob Ray, of Hendersonville, was shot around midnight on Oct. 6 near WCU’s campus.

The 21-year-old was taken to Mission Hospital in Asheville and on Monday, his family decided to take him off life support.

Aja Makalo, 19, and Zavion Southerland, 17, both of Charlotte, were originally charged with attempted murder. Those charges have now been upgraded to murder.

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

Ray’s friend, Christopher Boulton, described Ray as the kind of person who encouraged the people around him to be the best version of themselves.

“He was a happy, optimistic and driven person. He was the one we thought had the best chance of doing something good with his life,” Boulton said.

Authorities have not released a motive in the shooting.