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Suspect held in west Charlotte slaying

By Cameron Steele and Brittany Penland
csteele@charlotteobserver.com

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have charged a man with murder after a shooting early Saturday in west Charlotte.

Officers responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call with injuries at 6 a.m. on Saturday, according to police reports. When police arrived at the scene in the 2000 block of B Avenue, they found a 21-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound.

Medics pronounced the victim, Raymona Abraham, dead at 6:09 a.m.

Ralph Lewis Gettys, 33, was arrested early Sunday morning at a home in the 7300 block of Sterling Haven Road.

Gettys is charged with murder, assault and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Police believe Gettys and Abraham knew each other and said the assault was not a random act of violence. Detectives were canvassing the neighborhood in search of witnesses.

B Avenue is a quiet street that dead-ends near the house where neighbors said the shots were fired.

Johnny Graham, 58, lives across the street from the crime scene. He stood on his front porch Saturday afternoon and gestured toward the house at 2043 B Ave.

“The man who died came out of that house,” Graham said. “We were sleeping, and we woke up because of the gunfire.”

No one answered the door when an Observer reporter knocked on it Saturday afternoon. Empty beer bottles and cigarette cartons littered the yard; a dog without a collar slept in the sun. Several lawn chairs were scattered around the porch and yard, some of them knocked over.

Graham said he heard three shots fired from the direction of the house; another neighbor, who did not want to be named for safety reasons, said he heard at least two.

Both neighbors said that house is something of a party spot; people gather there, hang out and make noise on the weekends, Graham said. He said heard “arguing and stuff” coming from the house throughout Friday night and early Saturday morning.

Graham didn’t know Abraham and said that “nothing like this had ever happened” on B Avenue, where Graham grew up and has lived for nearly 50 years.

Anyone with information about this incident should call 704-432-TIPS and speak to a homicide detective, or call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

WCNC.com contributed to this report.

Steele: 704-358-5067; Twitter: Steelecs
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