NORMAN — A man jailed in the shooting death of another man Saturday night was acting drunk and disorderly before the shooting occurred and may have become angry when a woman asked him to quiet down, neighbors said.
A woman who lives a few doors down from the apartment where the shooting occurred said Ethan Johnson Spruill, 22, was making “a lot of noise” when Stephanie McCray knocked on his door and asked him to be quiet. Spruill followed McCray back to her apartment, which was downstairs from his at the Cherry Stone Apartments at 1820 Cherry Stone St., and argued with the woman's husband, Aaron Donelle McCray Jr., 22, before pulling a gun and shooting him, she said.
Police said Spruill was taken into custody after several witnesses said Spruill argued with Aaron McCray, shot him multiple times and then returned to his own apartment.
The woman, who did not want her name used, said she was walking across the complex yard to get the attention of one of her children when the shooting occurred.
“I just got my child and ran back to my apartment. It was startling. It happened so fast,” she said.
The woman said Aaron McCray had his hands in the air and was saying something like, “what, are you going to shoot me?” when she then heard shots fired. McCray's wife called 911 while another neighbor tried to help McCray, she said.
“She (Stephanie McCray) had her hand on him, and the other neighbor was saying, ‘hang on, now, don't leave me,’ while they waited for an ambulance to arrive,” she said.
McCray was later pronounced dead at Norman Regional Hospital.
Police declined to elaborate on the details of the disagreement between Spruill and McCray. After officers questioned witnesses, Spruill was taken into custody and booked on a complaint of first-degree murder, police Capt. Tom Easley said. He remained in the Cleveland County jail Monday. Charges are expected to be filed later this week.
Police were called to the scene about 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
The husband of the woman who witnessed the shooting said he knew both Spruill and Aaron McCray.
“This is out of character for both men. Neither one is the type to be involved in a shooting. I don't know what happened. Something is not right. One and one doesn't add up to two on this one,” he said.
The neighbors said Aaron McCray worked part time as a nurse. He and his wife, Stephanie, have two children, a boy, who just turned 3, and a baby girl. Stephanie McCray and the children were with relatives Monday and could not be reached for comment.
Spruill worked part time at a butcher shop and attended classes, a neighbor said. The neighbor believed Spruill was a student at the University of Oklahoma, but OU officials said they had no record of him.
The woman who witnessed the shooting said Spruill had been drinking earlier in the evening with another neighbor, then was inside his apartment alone “where he was making a lot of noise.” She said she overheard him say later, “I fell off my wagon.”