Two face felony charges after shots fired at vehicle

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 1, 2016

By Shavonne Walker

Two men face felony charges, authorities said, after a man called 911 to say he was being followed by a vehicle and someone was shooting at him.

Salisbury Police charged Freeman Franklin Payton III, 23, of the 300 block of Harrel Street, with felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, felony discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, felony possession by felon of firearm.

Police said Payton was the passenger inside a 2002 Honda driven by Joshua O’Bryan Studevent, 22, of  the 700 block of East Liberty Street. Studevent was charged with felony aiding and abetting, and misdemeanor possession of open container of alcohol.

Salisbury Police said Preston Hillie, 28, was traveling in the 1500 block of West Innes Street, near DJs Restaurant, in his 2010 Chevrolet Impala when he called emergency officials to tell them someone was shooting at his vehicle.

Officials said somehow Hillie managed to get behind the Honda and told dispatchers he was following the suspects. Police caught up to the vehicle in the 700 block of North Lee and East Henderson streets.

The passenger took off running, but was caught a short distance later. Police said officers saw a handgun in Payton’s hand, but when they caught up to him it wasn’t there. A China Grove Police K-9 was called in to search for the weapon, but an officer found the gun in a nearby trash can at a residence at 118 E. Lafayette St.

Payton is currently on a year of probation for a February conviction for felony breaking and entering. He has also been convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession, misdemeanor breaking and entering, misdemeanor larceny, obtaining property by false pretenses, inciting to riot, and shoplifting. Payton remains in the Rowan County jail under $500,000 secured bond.

Studevent is also on probation for a 2015 misdemeanor resisting arrest conviction. He’s also been convicted of injury to real property, misdemeanor possession of marijuana and multiple incidents of resisting arrest. Studevent remains in the jail under $20,000 secured bond.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.