FRANKLIN, Va. (WAVY) – A 10-year-old boy is dead and a 37-year-old man has been injured in a shooting on Artis Street in Franklin on Wednesday, Franklin police said.

Police said they began receiving calls for a shooting in the 300 block of Artis Street around 3 p.m., and when first responders arrived, they found two gunshot victims, both on that street but at different residences, suffering from life-threatening injuries.

While securing the scene, Franklin Fire and Rescue treated both victims and took them to Bon Secours Southampton Memorial Hospital. Due to his injuries, the man was flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where he was treated and later released. The 10-year-old died of his injuries at the hospital, police said.

He was identified by his grandmother on Thursday as La’Marj Deshawn Holden.

Franklin shooting victim La’Marj Deshawn Holden (Courtesy of his family)

The woman who owns the home that was shot at told 10 On Your Side’s Michelle Wolf there was an altercation outside, and she had told the five children playing outside to get inside her home.

One child, Holden, was peeking through the blinds inside her home while playing with her children. That’s when she says one bullet hit Holden in the head and he fell against the front door. When she opened the door, she said he collapsed onto the front porch and was not responsive.

The woman’s husband was also injured in the shooting and was discharged from the hospital with several injuries, the woman told 10 On Your Side, who saw the man walking around the neighborhood in a hospital gown covered in blood.

During the investigation, police learned that four people arrived at a residence of the man in the 300 block of Artis Street, where there was an altercation between the man and the suspects. Police said during the altercation, Tashawnda Nicole Drayton, 24, began shooting and struck both victims.

A relative of the 10-year-old boy carried him to another residence on the street, where police, fire and EMS personnel found him.

Tashawnda Nicole Drayton (Photo – City of Franklin Police Department)

Based upon the on-scene investigation, detectives identified a suspect and secured warrants against Drayton for first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated malicious wounding, two charges of shooting into an occupied dwelling, the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, threat to burn or damage building, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and discharge of a firearm in a public place.

Drayton is not in custody and was out on bail at the time. Police say she’s armed and dangerous, and that this is an ongoing investigation as detectives follow leads on the suspects who arrived at the adult victim’s residence. Drayton remains at large.

“This is a very sad day for the city of Franklin, said Franklin Police Chief Steve Patterson. “Any loss of life is unwarranted, but for a 10-year-old to be the victim of violent crime is unacceptable and we as a community must come together and end this senselessness. The Franklin Police Department offers its condolences to the family of the young man killed today and hopes the community will come together to support both families during this time.”

Franklin City Public Schools, in a note to “family and friends” of the school division, said the following:

Dear Family and Friends of Franklin City Public Schools,
As you might already be aware, there has been a tragic death of one of our young students, which happened mid-afternoon on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, in Franklin.
The Franklin City Police Department is actively investigating this matter.
Franklin City Public Schools is providing mental health services in the form of counseling at all
schools for students and families through 4:30 p.m. today, Aug. 10, 2023.
Our hearts are deeply saddened by this tragic loss, and we ask that everyone come together to
support the bereaved family at this time.
If you have any questions, please contact the FCPS Central Office at 757-569-8111, or after 4:30
p.m., Dr. Tanieka Ricks, Director of Gifted and Pupil Personnel, at 1-434-506-0255, or

Franklin City Public Schools

The Franklin Police Department was aided in the investigation by the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office, the Southampton County Commonwealth’s Attorneys Office, the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police.

The scene was initially described as an emergency situation in the area of South Street and Artis Street, and the city asked people to avoid the area to allow emergency personnel to safely respond.

A representative for Bon Secours-Southampton Medical Center in Franklin also announced Wednesday that it had temporarily restricted access to its emergency department.

The woman who owns the home told 10 On Your Side that she has faith in law enforcement, and that justice will be served.