Man Shot To Death At Johnston County Home

Crime scene tape surrounds a pickup truck stopped against a tree on Tranquil Lane on November 26, 2021. Photo by John Payne

WILLOW SPRING – A man was shot to death at a Johnston County home. The shooting occurred Friday night at a home on Tranquil Lane off White Memorial Church Road.

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office said they were initially dispatched to the address for a break-in that was in progress. When officers arrived they found 31 year-old Nicholas Payne of Pecan Lane, Garner shot to death.

The individual who fired the fatal shot remained at the scene and has cooperated with the law enforcement investigation.

Sheriff’s Captain Jeff Caldwell said detectives are consulting with the District Attorney’s Office about the case. No charges have been filed at this time.

No additional information was released due to the ongoing investigation.

Photo by John Payne

In November 2020, Payne was arrested for breaking into a work truck and trailer parked at a Johnston County storage facility.


  1. I think that’s pretty shi**y of JoCo report to throw in there about some prior charge he had. Regardless of anything that may have transpired prior to this incident a human life was lost. Have you no shame.

  2. I think it was extremely distastful of JoCo report to mention any prior charges concerning him prior to this incident. Have you no shame. Regardless of what he may or may not have been into 2 years ago a man, son, brother, father, & friend I’m sure lost his life that night. Pitiful.

  3. What’s messed up is 2 men were arrested.. But lets put the rest of the story out there.. He was not convicted.. SO THAT PIECE OF INFORMATION ABOUT 2 MEN ARRESTED… NICHOLAS PAYNE WAS NOT CONVICTED!!!

    • Since when are we permitted to shoot others while still in a vehicle? Seriously? What kind of message is this going to give in the future?

      • Exactly… Not to mention an unarmed man sitting in the vehicle with his hands in the air to show he had no weapons,

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