Franklin police identify and are searching for suspect in alleged murder of 10-year-old boy

Published 10:22 pm Wednesday, August 9, 2023

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The Franklin Police Department responded to reports of a shooting incident Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 9, on Artis Street that resulted in the death of a 10-year-old boy. Police have identified a suspect in the shooting who is at-large and believed to be armed and dangerous.

An Aug. 9 FPD news release stated that based upon the on-scene investigation, detectives were able to identify a suspect and have secured warrants against Tashawnda Nicole Drayton, 24, who is described as a Black female, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 250 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. An alias associated with Drayton is “Brazy.”

The release noted that Drayton is wanted for first-degree murder; attempted first-degree murder; aggravated malicious wounding; two charges of shooting into an occupied dwelling; use of a firearm in commission of a felony; threatening to burn or damage a building; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and discharging a firearm in a public place. 

Drayton is believed to be armed and dangerous, the release stated.

Police said that around 3 p.m., the City of Franklin Emergency Communications Center began receiving calls reporting a shooting incident in the 300 block of Artis Street in Franklin. 

The first arriving units found two gunshot victims, both in the 300 block of Artis Street but at different residences, suffering from life-threatening injuries, the release stated. Police said the victims were a 10-year-old male child and a 37-year-old adult male. 

While units secured the scene, Franklin Fire and Rescue responded and began to administer life-saving aid and transported both victims to Bon Secours – Southampton Medical Center, the release stated. Police said that due to the injuries received, the 37-year-old adult male was flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital where he has been treated and released. 

Police said that the 10-year-old male child succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. 

“Due to the age of the child, we will not be releasing his name,” FPD officials said.

During the investigation, it was learned that four subjects arrived at a residence of the adult male in the 300 block of Artis Street where an altercation between the adult victim and suspects took place, the release stated. Police reported that during the altercation, Drayton allegedly produced a firearm and began shooting, striking both victims. 

The release stated that a relative of the 10-year-old victim carried him to another residence in the 300 block of Artis Street where police, fire and emergency medical personnel found him.

Referencing the altercation and shooting incident, police said, “This is an ongoing investigation as detectives continue to follow more leads on the suspects who arrived at the adult male’s residence.”

Franklin Police Chief Steve Patterson stated Wednesday evening, “This is a very sad day for the city of Franklin. Any loss of life is unwarranted, but for a 10-year-old to be the victim of violent crime is unacceptable, and we, as a community, must come together and end this senselessness. The Franklin Police Department offers its condolences to the family of the young man killed today and hopes the community will come together to support both families during this time.”

The FPD announced on social media on Monday morning, Aug. 14, that several law enforcement agencies are working to locate Drayton and take her into custody. 

If anyone has information about Drayton’s whereabouts, the shooting incident or other criminal activity within the city of Franklin, they are asked to call Franklin Police at 757-562-8575, Franklin Crime Solvers at 757-516-7100, or contact the FPD online at Information that leads to an arrest can earn the caller a cash reward while remaining anonymous.