Suspect arrested after man killed when gunfire erupts at party in Monroe

MONROE, N.C. — A suspect has been charged after a man was shot to death at a party earlier this month.

Authorities said they responded around 1 a.m. on Aug. 1 to a home on South West Street, where they found 24-year-old Jaqavis Allen who was on the ground in a yard. He had been shot and police said a gun was found under him.

Officers performed CPR on Allen, who was taken to a local hospital where he died, according to officials.

Investigators said Allen and the shooter were involved in an argument that resulted in several shots being fired and several vehicles being struck.

On Friday, officials said 22-year-old Robert Lee Ashcraft III was arrested in connection with Allen’s death while attending court.

He has been charged with first-degree murder, discharging a firearm in an occupied dwelling and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Allen’s death was the second homicide in the city within a week.

The Monroe police chief joined city leaders and the sheriff in a news conference hours after the murder to call for action.

“Enough is enough. I need your help,” said Monroe Police Chief Brian Gilliard.

The weekend before, Monroe police arrested four men accused of killing a 13-year-old girl in a drive-by shooting. She was sitting with friends at a picnic table when she was shot and killed.

“I can’t get over the 13-year-old girl doing nothing. Just sitting on a picnic table. Let me tell you, it is sad,” said Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey.

Leaders are asking for churches, community groups and nonprofits to partner with the city on anti-violence efforts. The Union County Sheriff’s Office is also partnering with Monroe police to increase patrols.

“Let me tell you, if the community don’t want change, there won’t be change. We got to have the community involved with this,” Cathey said.

“We ask you tonight when you say your prayers, please remember the families. They are hurting,” said Monroe Mayor Bobby Kilgore. “Please remember the police department. Please remember the city.”

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