Originally created 09/22/03

Police investigate teen death



Police said this morning that a 15-year-old Augusta teen died from a gunshot wound to the chest late Sunday, but how and why the shooting happened is still unclear.

Larry L. Drayton, of the 2400 block of Bahama Drive near Deans Bridge Road, was pronounced dead at 11:48 p.m. at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, according to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

A police report indicates that Deputy Brandon Beckman was responding to a 911 hang-up call in the area when the teenager approached and said he'd been shot.

Deputy Beckman noted the young man was bleeding from the mouth and his chest, the report states.

Sheriff's Maj. Ken Autry said that the teen had been shot in the upper torso somewhere near his residence. His body was taken to a crime lab in Atlanta for an autopsy.

Maj. Autry said investigators have been unable to find out what weapon was used to shoot the teenager, nor do authorities have any indication why he was shot. They believe he was with acquaintances when the shooting occurred.

"There is not a real clear account (about what happened) at the point he was shot," Maj. Autry said.

Investigators talked with people in the neighborhood, but none said they'd actually seen the shooting.

Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or jeremy.craig@augustachronicle.com.