Between 40 and 50 officers with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office spent most of Wednesday searching for a man wanted for attempted murder and a weapons charge, who remained at-large as of press time on Wednesday.
John Drayton Jr., 23, of Boardman Road, is wanted for attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, according to a statement from the Sheriff's Office. He is described as a 5-foot-9 black male, and was last seen wearing blue jeans, a white tank top and flip flops.
A 22-year-old female victim told officers she had gone to a home on Nautilus Street to see her friend and was greeted by Drayton, according to the report. She said Drayton and a friend of hers were “in bed together.”
According to the report, Drayton got dressed and then grabbed the victim and began hitting and choking her. He let her go, then followed her outside where he pointed a black handgun at her and said he would shoot her.
The victim told deputies that when she turned to leave, Drayton fired a shot in her direction. She told him she was calling the police and he reportedly responded, “Go ahead, I'll shoot them, too.”
Drayton reportedly told the victim he was going to get his “chopper,” which the victim “knows to mean a semi-auto assault rifle, possibly an AK-47,” according to the report.
The Sheriff's Office SWAT team responded, and between 40 and 50 officers searched for Drayton throughout the day, according to Capt. Troy Elwell. They called the search off around 4 p.m.
“We're just waiting on a spotting or a tip at this point,” he said.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (800) 922-9709 or CrimeStoppers of the Midlands at (888) CRIME-SC. Callers can remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward between $50 and $1,000.
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime beat for the Aiken Standard. He is a graduate of Clemson University and hails from Williston.