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Murdered Fayetteville teen had spoken out about gun violence

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Ravon Jordan speaks to City Council about gun violence a little more than a month before he was gunned down in Fayetteville. Ravon Jordan speaks to City Council about gun violence a little more than a month before he was gunned down in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

A Fayetteville teen gunned down Sunday had spoken to City Council last month on the dangers of gun violence and the need to close an apartment complex plagued by shootings.

Ravon Detrail Jordan, 19, died Monday after being shot outside a house party in the 1500 block of Grandview Drive around 1:23 a.m. on Sunday.

During a press conference Monday afternoon, Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock said more than 70 shots were fired "in the space of just a very few minutes" and that Jordan sustained a gunshot wound to his head. He said more than five high-powered firearms were involved in the shooting.

Medlock said police suspect that the shooting stemmed from an altercation between two rival "non-traditional" gangs that "apparently have some kind of issue with each other." He said the gangs were family- or neighborhood-based and not nationally or internationally recognized groups.

The very violence that took Jordan's life was the focus of a plea he made to City Council on May 12 to shut down Cambridge Arms apartments due to increased gun violence in the complex.

"I don't feel like -- as a resident in an apartment complex -- you should be paying basically for your grave site," Jordan said. "You shouldn't be paying to be killed or murdered in your own house. ... When you move into a home, you don't expect to die."

While Jordan was not shot at Cambridge Arms, which is now known as Barrington Place, councilman Larry Wright said he thinks the feelings translate to several areas of the city, including the neighborhood off Raeford Road where Jordan was shot. Wright himself lives one block away.

"The violence can spread quickly from one neighborhood to the next neighborhood, and I don't think we can pinpoint one area," Wright said. "But we need to pinpoint those few that [are] making it bad for the many."

He added, "Now I feel we're obligated and responsible as community leaders and the community at large to hear that young man's voice from the grave, if you will."

The city and owners of the complex have been at odds over Barrington Place Apartments due to what the city called nuisance activity that was occurring on the property. The city on April 17, 2013, filed a "for nuisance abatement" against the complex and entered a restraining order on April 22, 2013.

Earlier this month, the city then filed a motion asking the court to prevent the apartment complex from renting units because the illegal and nuisance activity continued on the property.

However the managers of the complex, Southwood Realty Company, contend that crime there is not as bad as the city implies. Four people have been murdered at the complex since January -- on Jan. 20, two people were shot inside an apartment in the complex; and on May 1, two more were shot and killed inside another apartment.

"Since I've known about Cambridge Arms, there have been four murders all due to gun violence," Jordan told City Council. He added that despite having security in place, little had been done to curb the violence.

"It's crazy that security [will] notice you playing music, they'll notice people outside your house [but] they don't notice gun shots, they don't notice broken windows, they don't notice car alarms going off," Jordan said.

"It's no excuse for you to have as many problems in your apartment complex that they have had," Jordan said. "Like my sister said, 'Changing the name is not going to change the violence at all.'"

Fayetteville police could not comment on what role -- if any -- Jordan may have played in the violence Sunday that led to his death, but Medlock was adamant that the violence has to end.

"I am angry. I'm not frustrated, I'm angry. And everybody in this city should be angry," Medlock said Monday. "I'm counting on our parents to start parenting their children, and making sure they're home and that they're safe."

Medlock said police believe the violence on Grandview Drive started earlier in the night at another house party on Bunce Road.

"The parents of the roughly 70 or so young people that were at that party [Sunday] morning need to hug their children ... thank God that more of these young people were not injured, killed or shot ... because of the actions of a few idiots in our city carrying weapons," Medlock said.

Medlock said police have identified suspects and officers "are going to run them into the ground and get them off the streets so we don't have any more children in our city with their lives taken needlessly."

Wright pointed out that city council has approved a budget that adds 47 sworn officers and 12 non-sworn staff members for the police department. He said those additional officers will help reduce violence in the city, but he knows more community involvement is needed.

"I just make a call to all of our citizens, all of our parents and all of our mentors and those that are concerned for lives of our children being lost in the street anywhere at any time, please get involved and let your voices be heard," Wright said.

He said he did not want Jordan’s voice to be in vain.

“It’s very ironic that his life would be lost after crying out for the lives of others," Wright said.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Detective M. Ballard with the Fayetteville Police Department at (910) 549-7326 or Crimestoppers at (910) 483-8477.

Brandon Herring contributed to this report.

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