'Life is so precious.' Eyewitness reacts to news of teenager killed in Clayton apartment parking lot

Cindy Bae Image
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Person found shot to death in parking lot at Clayton apartment complex
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Clayton Police are investigating a deadly shooting that took place late Monday night at an apartment complex on Pine Hall Drive.

CLAYTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Clayton Police are investigating a deadly shooting that took the life of a teenager late Monday night.

It happened at the Pines at Glen Laurel apartments on Pine Hall Drive, just off Highway 42. Officers found the victim, later identified as Jayden Shamar Jones, 16, of Clayton, in the parking lot of the complex.

Monday night, an ABC11 breaking news crew noted several evidence markers in the parking lot of the clubhouse for the community.

Authorities said there was a high-speed police chase in the area at the time and they're working to see whether the two incidents are connected.

An eyewitness told ABC11 they were in the middle of the car chase while on their way home to the apartment complex after having dinner.

Surveillance image of a vehicle possibly linked to a homicide in Clayton.
Clayton Police Department

"Within a matter of seconds, the police officers had turned around and were chasing after a car," the eyewitness said. "That car then did another U-turn and headed back towards the Smithfield area, flew right past us. Super close to our car, it shook our car, they were going so fast."

On Tuesday evening, Garner police said callers reported that two or three people had fled the area in a white car, possibly a Mitsubishi Lancer.

As officers were heading to the scene, an officer saw a white vehicle speeding on Highway 42 East. The officer turned around and began pursuing the car. Other Clayton officers who were directing traffic at a structure fire on Highway 70 Business saw the suspect vehicle turn onto Highway 70.

Officers pursued and tried to stop the car, which was traveling at more than 100 mph on Highway 70 and Main Street. Clayton officers lost sight of the car near the Wake County line on Old US 70/Garner Road.

Another image of the suspect vehicle that Clayton Police are looking for.
Clayton Police Department

Investigators at the crime scene determined that an altercation took place between Jones and two other people. Both suspects fired multiple shots at Jones before fleeing. Police said the shooting does not appear to be random.

Residents were stunned by the shooting.

"Finding out late last night what it was, pretty devastating for sure," the eyewitness said. "Life is so precious and I think that that's a testament to that and it's really sad."

Property management declined to comment on Tuesday and police have not released any information about the victim or possible suspects, but the eyewitness said they still feel safe in Clayton after living in downtown Raleigh.

"I know things have happened in the area but I do feel safe in Clayton and in this area," the eyewitness said. "I haven't had anything like this happen so it is a shock but I'm hoping they'll get him. They were right on him so hopefully, they can catch whoever did it."

The case remains under active investigation. Anyone with information is asked to please contact Clayton Police at (919) 553-4611.