Two Arrests Made In Fatal Shooting

Johnston County sheriff’s deputies secure the Sheetz parking lot on NC Highway 42 at Cornwallis Road February 17, 2022 after a double shooting on Josephine Road. The victims drove to Sheetz to summon help. Johnston County Report Photo

CLAYTON – The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday afternoon the arrest of two suspects in a double shooting investigation that left one person dead.

Harley Alexander Shirley, age 21, of Clayton and Sophie Hagy, age 20, were attending a balloon release February 17th on Josephine Road as part of a wake for a teenager who recently died in a car accident. Around 8:00pm, shots rang out striking Shirley and Hagy.

They fled the scene in a car and went to the Sheetz convenience store, about three miles away, at the intersection of Highway 42 West and Cornwallis Road to summon help.

Shirley died at the scene. Hagy was rushed to the hospital. According to family and friends, she was shot twice in the back and is now paralyzed from the waist down.

This afternoon, Sheriff’s Captain Jeff Caldwell said a 17 year-old juvenile from the Willow Spring area was taken into custody last Saturday. As part of the ongoing investigation, earlier today, a 16 year-old juvenile from the Garner area was also taken into custody.

Both teenage suspects are charged with murder in the death of Harley Shirley and the attempted murder of Sophie Hagy who remains hospitalized.

Captain Caldwell said the investigation remains ongoing. A motive has not been disclosed.

A GoFundMe page has been established for Sophie to help with her medical expenses.


  1. This is beyond sad and no parent should have to go through this. All these lives ruined for what??
    God bless the Shirley and Hagy family

  2. Although I have never met anyone from that side of Sandy’s family; I would like to send my condolences to the family at the tragic loss that you all have suffered not only through the loss of life of Shirley, but also the injury to Hagy. To the parents of both of them, I can speak from experience, the loss or major injury of a child is something that never goes away; but hopefully the pain lessens over time. I will keep you in my prayers. Tom Lane husband of Sandy (St. John) Lane

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