A former Michigan State University basketball star and NBA Player Adreian Payne was shot and killed in Orlando, Florida.
According to news reports, police discovered Payne suffering from gunshot wounds at the 2500 block of Egret Shores Drive on May 9. He was then rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead moments later.
The accused gunman was identified as 29-year-old Lawrence Dority, who was at the scene when authorities arrived. He was transported to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, where homicide detectives interviewed him.
Dority was also arrested, charged with first-degree murder and booked in the Orange County Jail. He is set to appear in court on May 10.
The Florida man reportedly told deputies that Payne got in his face and “was intimidating due to his size.” He added that Payne said, “I’ll smoke you, brah,” which led him to believe that the former basketball player had a gun.
However, investigators said the 31-year-old did not have a gun on him and that Dority allegedly walked into his own home, grabbed a gun, then walked back outside and shot at him.
Documents suggested that Payne and his girlfriend previously came to the neighborhood to mediate a domestic situation and prevent violence as per the suspect’s girlfriend’s request. Yet, Dority insisted that his actions were justified.
“Dority stated he was protecting his family and protecting his home. Dority stated his actions were justified,” a police report stated.
In a doorbell security video obtained by FOX 35, an argument was heard before a gunshot went off. Then, a woman, who claimed to be Payne’s mother, was heard screaming, “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!”
She was reportedly on the phone with 911 at that moment.
“I’m in shock at the tragic news of Adreian Payne’s death. Our prayers are with his family, teammates, and loved ones, Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo said in a statement. “Adreian was loved by his teammates and coaches, who respected his development as a player and a person. He came to Michigan State with a ton of raw talent and put in the work to reach his goal of becoming an NBA player.”
Payne reportedly left Michigan State, where he was a star player, in 2014, and that year, he became the NBA’s First Round pick for the Atlanta Hawks. He also played for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic.
“The @OrlandoMagic are saddened to learn of the tragic death of Adreian Payne…Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time,” the Orlando Magic tweeted.
The @OrlandoMagic are saddened to learn of the tragic death of Adreian Payne.
Adreian was a two-way player that appeared in five games with Orlando during the 2017-18 season, and also spent time with the Lakeland Magic of the NBA G League.
— Orlando Magic PR (@Magic_PR) May 9, 2022
The Ohio native’s former MSU teammate, NBA player Draymond Green tweeted broken heart emojis in regards in regard’s to his death as well.
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) May 9, 2022
Former MSU player and iconic NBA star Magic Johnson also made a statement about Payne’s passing saying, “Cookie and I are heartbroken to hear that former Spartan Adreian Payne has passed away. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family and Spartan Nation! Adreian will be sorely missed.”