Former Michigan State basketball star Adreian Payne fatally shot while trying to prevent domestic dispute, police investigation reveals

A former Michigan State basketball star was fatally shot in an apparent domestic dispute on Thursday night. The shooting occurred around 10 p.m., according to the East Lansing Police Department, which investigated the case with help from MSU police and the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office

According to court records revealed Tuesday, former Michigan State basketball player Adreian Payne was shot and died in Orlando, Florida, early Monday while attempting to assist a lady involved in a domestic dispute.

After being detained on a first-degree murder warrant in the shooting, Lawrence Dority, 29, pleaded not guilty. According to court records filed in the investigation by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Payne and his girlfriend, whose name was deleted in the report, traveled to Dority’s residence at the invitation of Dority’s girlfriend, Tatiana Mesa.

Mesa had phoned Payne’s girlfriend to intercede in previous confrontations with Dority to “avoid any physical violence,” according to his girlfriend.

Payne and his fiancée were parked outside Dority’s house, who had come in his father’s automobile with his father. Dority approached Payne near his truck, according to witnesses.

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Dority and witnesses each had their own version of what transpired next. Dority, who is 5-foot-8, said he felt scared by Payne, who stands 6-10, and claimed Payne warned him during an altercation, “I’ll burn you, brah.” He said Payne reached for what he believed was a weapon before Dority entered his home, pulled out a pistol, and fired the one shot that killed him.

Payne’s truck had no guns in it.

Authorities were informed by Payne’s girlfriend that he did not represent a danger to Dority and that they were merely there to play “mediator.” Payne did not make any “threatening moves” at Dority, according to another witness. Before Dority discharged his pistol, Payne’s girlfriend can be heard imploring Dority, “do not get your gun out” and “we were invited to come here,” according to footage and audio obtained of the event.

Dority’s father stepped out of his vehicle and attempted to aid Payne, who died an hour later in a hospital. According to court filings, Dority contacted 911 and reported an intruder had assaulted him. He informed dispatchers, “This individual attempted coming to my home, he cut around my block and tried shooting me.”

Residents of Florida who are “in a home or habitation in which the individual has a right to be has no responsibility to withdraw and has the right to stand his or her ground and use or threaten to use” lethal force have no need to retreat.

Payne, however, did not represent an immediate danger to Dority, who was detained on a first-degree murder allegation after being questioned at the police station.

In two of his four seasons with Tom Izzo’s club (2012-13, 2013-14), Payne was named to the All-Big Ten second team. He led the Spartans to the Elite Eight in the 2013-14 season, averaging 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

In a statement, Izzo stated, “I’m in shock at the awful news of Adreian Payne’s death.” “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, teammates, and loved ones. Adreian’s teammates and coaches admired and recognized his growth as a player and a person. He arrived to Michigan State with a lot of raw potential and worked hard to achieve his dream of playing in the NBA.”

Payne’s teammate at Michigan State in 2010-11 and 2011-12, Draymond Green, posted sad heart emojis on Monday.

Payne, a 6-10 power forward, spent four seasons in the NBA with several clubs. After being cited in an ESPN Outside the Lines investigation as having been implicated in an alleged sexual assault at Michigan State, he was released by the Orlando Magic in 2018. Payne never returned to the NBA and spent the last years of his career in Europe. In the stated occurrence, no charges were brought.

Adreian Payne was 31 at the time.

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