CULLOWHEE — A Western Carolina University student who was seriously injured in a shooting incident Friday on a road near campus has died.
University law enforcement officials said Tuesday that Jacob Alexander Ray, a junior at WCU studying computer information systems, died Monday from injuries sustained in the shooting. The incident occurred around midnight Friday along Old Cullowhee Road adjacent to campus.
Ray, who is from Hendersonville, was hospitalized on life support for much of the weekend at Mission Hospital in Asheville.
“The entire Western Carolina University community mourns the loss of such a promising young life,” Chancellor David O. Belcher said in a statement. “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.”
Ray’s father, Victor, thanked people for their prayers in a public Facebook post over the weekend but said that “Jesus wants him home.”
He said funeral plans for his son have not yet been finalized.
A candlelight vigil will be held in Ray’s honor at 9 p.m. Wednesday at the fountain area of Central Plaza on WCU’s campus.
Charlotte residents Aja Makalo, 19, and Zavion Southerland, 17, were arrested and charged over the weekend for attempted murder. It is not yet known if or when charges will be upgraded in the case.
The North Carolina District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Makalo, a female student at the university, is being held on a $500,000 bond, WCU said Saturday. Southerland, who is not affiliated with WCU, was arrested Saturday in Gastonia. He is being held without bond.
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