Clarke Morrison, Asheville Citizen-Times
ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Investigators believe a drug transaction gone bad likely led to the shooting death of an Asheville man.
Jamar DeShawn Smith was killed about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday in the backyard of a residence on Aurora Vista Drive near where he had been staying, authorities said.
"What our investigation has determined so far is that it appears to be some sort of drug transaction that erupted into the violence that left that one individual dead," Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan said Friday.
Duncan said several people witnessed the shooting.
"We are very actively working the investigation, and it continues to develop pretty rapidly," he said. "We did have witnesses to what took place, and we're continuing to follow up on that."
Deputies responded to a 911 call after a nearby resident heard a gunshot, looked outside his window and saw Smith on the ground about 10 feet from his door.
Authorities had made no arrests Thursday or Friday, but investigators said they did not think there was a threat to the community.
Just before the shooting, about six people were fighting in a yard outside the home, said a witness who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation.
Friends and family held a candlelight prayer vigil for Smith, 27, Thursday night at the basketball court at Hillcrest Apartments, where he grew up. About 100 people attended.
Smith's is the first slaying reported in the county this year, following a year in which the Sheriff's Office investigated a record 14 killings.
Smith was released from state prison in February 2012 after serving a year and four months, according to N.C. Department of Public Safety records. His felony convictions include possession of a firearm by a felon, larceny, common law robbery and possession of stolen goods.