Charges Upgraded To Murder After Selma Shooting Victim Dies

A 53 year-old man shot multiple times over-the-weekend died unexpectedly today (Thursday) at WakeMed.  Kenneth Earl Sutton was shot five times late-Saturday at a home at 405 W. Preston Street in the Selma city limits.

Sutton was rushed to WakeMed after the shooting and underwent emergency surgery. Sutton had reportedly been in stable condition.  However his condition deteriorated this morning and he died while still at WakeMed.

Selma Police Chief W.M. Thomas said detectives continue to search for the suspect, 51 year-old Bruce Wayne Johnson of Towbridge Drive, Smithfield.  Chief Thomas said charges against Johnson have been upgraded to murder following the death of the 53 year-old victim.  Johnson is considered to be armed and dangerous.

Police are still investigating the motive and what led up to the fatal shooting.  Police did confirm that Sutton and Johnson knew one another.

In 2006, Johnson was arrested and later sentenced to 4 years in prison after he was stabbed during an exchange of words with a woman at Smithfield Billiards on South Brightleaf Boulevard in Smithfield.  After he was stabbed, Johnson got into his car and struck 3 pedestrians in the parking lot, seriously injuring two of the three individuals.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Bruce Wayne Johnson of Smithfield is asked to contact the Selma Police Department at 919-965-8189. Callers may remain anonymous.

Photo by John Payne