Serving Kenly, Selma, Smithfield, Princeton & Pine Level since 1973

Deputies seek 2 of 3 suspects in Clayton-area killing

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


CLAYTON— Johnston County sheriff’s detectives are seeking two of three suspects in the shooting death of a 15-year-old Clayton youth.

Deputies were dispatched to a shooting at 103 Blackthorne Court southwest of Clayton at 1:39 a.m. Saturday. When they arrived, deputies found  15-year-old Kaylen Marion Middleton of Clayton dead at the scene due to a gunshot wound.

A 20-year-old, Desmond Tyrese Barnes of Clayton, was shot in the foot. Barnes has been treated and released from the hospital.

Johnston County sheriff’s Capt. Jeff Caldwell said three suspects were described as African American males who fled the scene in a vehicle after the shooting. 

Caldwell said detectives identified one of the suspects as Joshua Caleb Draughon, 18, of Garner. Warrants were obtained on Draughon for first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. Draughhon was taken into custody Monday and initially was booked into the Wake County Jail on unrelated charges. 

Also charged with first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill is Quashaad Powell, 19, who frequents the Garner and Angier areas. Caldwell said Powell hasn’t yet been located. The third suspect has not been identified.

The case remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to call the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office at 919-989-5010.