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Former basketball star Adreian Payne was gunned down in Florida after authorities say he tried to intervene in a domestic violence dispute.
Payne, 31, was pronounced dead at an Orlando hospital Monday morning after deputies responded to a shooting, according to a statement from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities say the shooting suspect, identified as Lawrence Dority, 29, was arrested on the scene and charged with first-degree murder.
Court records reviewed by Oxygen.com show investigators were called to an Orlando residence at around 1:33 a.m. According to Payne’s girlfriend, whose name was redacted from documents, she and Payne were asked to come to the home by the suspect’s girlfriend, Tatiana Mesa.
“[Payne’s girlfriend] has previously responded to be a ‘mediator’ to prevent any physical violence,” according to a probable cause affidavit. “[Payne’s girlfriend] assumed that’s why she was reporting this night.”
Witnesses say Dority arrived at the residence with his father and son to find an unknown vehicle parked near the home. Dority went to car and engaged in a verbal altercation with Payne.
Dority’s father and son waited in their car, though the father was unable to hear what the two were arguing about.
Witnesses say Payne was standing outside his vehicle when Dority went into the residence and returned with a gun under his shirt, according to authorities.
Authorities reviewed surveillance footage that captured a portion of the incident, according to court records. A female could be heard yelling “do not pull your gun out” and “we were asked to come here” just before the shooting occurred.
“Dority then took a shooting stance, both arms leaning forward, near a tree,” witnesses stated, according to the affidavit. “[Payne] told Dority to put the firearm away, however he fired one time.”
Video captured by doorbell camera was obtained by Fox 23 Orlando, in which viewers can hear a woman claiming to be Payne’s mother frantically calling 911.
“Please help me, help me. He shot my son dead. Help me! I don’t know the address. He shot him. He just died. Please help me,” the woman cries.
Soon after, Dority called 911, court records show.
“This man tried coming to my house, he cut around my block, and he tried shooting me,” Dority told dispatchers. “He act like he got a gun, and I shot him.”
Payne was transported to the AdventHealth Hospital East, where he succumbed to his injuries at 2:23 a.m.
Dority told authorities that Payne had “no business” being near his home that late at night, according to charging documents. He also claimed he was intimidated by Payne’s 6’10” stature; Dority is 5'8''.
A witness on the scene reported that Payne “was not threatening Dority in any way” and “did not have a firearm,” authorities say.
A waiver of arraignment dated May 10 shows Dority has since pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Adreian Payne was a former basketball player for Michigan State University and played for several teams in the NBA over four seasons, according to ESPN. He was waived by Orlando Magic in 2018 after allegedly being linked to a sexual assault incident at MSU back in 2010. No charges were ever filed in that case.
Since then, Payne has spent time overseas and announced he was taking time off to be with his 4-year-old son, Amari, and tend to medical concerns regarding hydrocephalus (water on the brain).
“I will be back to doing what I love soon,” Payne tweeted in September. “Basketball has my heart, and Amari is my heartbeat.”
MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo was one of many in the sport to express their sadness over Payne’s untimely passing, ESPN reports.
“I’m in shock at the tragic news of Adreian Payne’s death,” stated Izzo. “Our prayers are with his family, teammates, and loved ones. Adreian was loved by his teammates and coaches, who respected his development as a player and a person.”
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