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19-year-old held without bail in Beverly shooting

A teenager is being held without bail after he allegedly shot and killed a man Saturday night in Beverly, prosecutors said.

Justice Galarza, 19, of Beverly, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Salem District Court on Monday to a first-degree murder charge for the death of Christian Merced, 21, of Miami, according to a statement from Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office. He was also charged with carrying a firearm without an identification card and firing the gun within 500 feet of a dwelling, prosecutors said.

On Saturday, Beverly police responded to reports of gunfire on Ropes Street and found a man with a chest wound. The victim was taken to Beverly Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

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Merced was in the area visiting family members when he was shot, prosecutors said. They believe that the two knew each other.

Galarza fled and later turned himself in to Salem police.

State and Beverly police are investigating.

Galarza is scheduled to return to court on May 10.


Globe correspondent Aneri Pattani contributed to this report. Mina Corpuz can be reached at mina.corpuz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @mlcorpuz.