“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Announces Arrest in Yesterday’s Fatal Shooting”


For Immediate Release

Chad Brooks, Chief Deputy

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

A 27-year old female has been charged following an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the March 28th shooting death of Kennedy David Drayton.  

On March 28th, 2022, deputies responded to 5924-B Moorefield Memorial Hwy. in Liberty, South Carolina, in reference to a report that someone at the residence had been shot. Upon arrival, deputies encountered Nicole Michelle Heape (27 YOA), who stated that she had shot a male resident following an altercation at the residence. The victim, Kennedy David Drayton (31 YOA) was found in the hallway with an apparent gunshot wound to his abdomen. 

Over past few days, detectives have continued to investigate the circumstances surrounding the shooting incident, which included collecting additional evidence and interviewing parties associated with both Heape and Drayton in an effort to identify what transpired.   

Earlier this afternoon, Nicole Michelle Heape was charged by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office with the following:


Murder (warrant# 2022A3910100265)

Possession of Weapon During a Violent Crime (warrant# 2022A3910100266)

The bond is to be determined.

The Sheriff’s Office will not be conducting any media interviews or releasing any additional information regarding this incident at this time, as there are still investigative steps being taken. If there are any other changes or details that can be released without compromising or hindering the investigation, those details will be distributed at one time through a media release.  

A copy of the arrest warrants and booking photograph has been attached to this media release.  


“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Shooting Death Following Domestic Disturbance”


For Immediate Release

Chad Brooks, Chief Deputy

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Shooting Death Following Domestic Disturbance

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the shooting death of a 31-year old male that occurred at 5924 Moorefield Memorial Hwy. Liberty, South Carolina shortly after midnight.

Deputies were dispatched to this location at approximately 00:36 this morning following a 911 call.  Upon their arrival, deputies entered the residence and observed a 27-year old female attempting to render aid to the male subject, who had an apparent gunshot wound to the abdomen.  The male subject later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased prior to 00:50 AM.   

The female subject was placed in investigative detention and was transported to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office for questioning, before later being released.  At this time the case is being investigated as a homicide while detectives continue to review evidence of the female’s self-defense claim.  

Further details will be released at a later time.