A former college basketball standout who also found some success playing in the NBA and European leagues was shot and killed in Orlando, Florida, in the early hours of Monday morning.
Law enforcement officials are investigating the shooting death of 31-year-old Adreian Payne, and his suspected shooter, 29-year-old Lawrence Dority, has already been arrested and charged with first-degree murder, Fox News reported.
Payne had been a star basketball player for Michigan State University from 2010 to 2014 and was a first-round draft pick by the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. He also played for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic until 2017, when he went to Europe and played for teams in the French, Greek, and Lithuanian professional leagues.
Murder charge in deadly shooting of basketball star
Local Orlando Fox affiliate WRBW reported that Payne had been shot in an incident that occurred around 1:30 am Monday morning and was later pronounced dead after being transported to an area hospital.
The entire incident had been caught on a doorbell security camera and the alleged shooter, Dority, was still at the scene when police arrived and apprehended him after asking questions about what had just occurred.
Dority was then transported and booked into the Orange County jail on a first-degree murder charge.
Alleged domestic dispute ends in fatal violence for purported mediator
According to the Detroit Free Press, court documents suggest that the murder of Payne was deliberate and premeditated by Dority, who already entered a plea of not guilty to the charges pressed against him.
The documents further show that, according to interviews and testimony of eyewitnesses and the individuals involved in the incident, Payne and his unnamed girlfriend had been invited to the location where the shooting occurred by the girlfriend of Dority in order to serve as peaceful mediators in a domestic dispute between the pair — something Payne’s girlfriend had allegedly done with Dority’s girlfriend on multiple previous occasions.
Dority, however, got into an argument with Payne when he saw him parked outside the home that Dority lived in with his girlfriend and reportedly went inside to retrieve a handgun before coming back outside and firing the fatal shot at Payne, who was unarmed.
The suspect himself called the police to report the shooting and claimed to have felt threatened by Payne, due to a notable disparity in size and weight, as well as his belief that Payne had been reaching for a gun after making threatening remarks.
Shooter’s version of events doesn’t add up
However, the Free Press noted that the other eyewitness accounts and video of the incident reportedly do not support Dority’s version of events, and Orange County sheriff’s deputies ultimately determined that Payne had not posed an imminent threat that would have justified Dority’s use of lethal force in self-defense.
Meanwhile, as Dority faces the first-degree murder charge, the family and friends and fans of Payne are mourning the untimely loss of a talented and good-hearted individual who was reportedly only trying to help an alleged victim of domestic abuse through a difficult personal situation.