LAFAYETTE, Colo. – A 95-year-old resident of a Colorado assisted living facility is in police custody following a Wednesday shooting that left an employee dead.
Okey Payne, who has lived at the Legacy Assisted Living Facility in Lafayette for about 16 months, is expected to be charged with first-degree murder and two counts of felony menacing related to the shooting death of the unidentified employee, KUSA reported.
Legacy Assisted Living officials confirmed to the TV station, however, that the victim – who died at an area hospital nearly seven hours after the shooting – was the facility’s maintenance director and was “truly loved” by both residents and staff for the past eight years. He was in his 40s.
Lafayette police Deputy Chief Brian Rosipajla confirmed to The Denver Post that officers responded to the Waneka Parkway facility at 7:15 a.m. for a reported shooting and took Payne into custody without incident.
Payne told investigators the victim owed him money, KUSA reported.
Lafayette police have identified the suspect as Okie Payne, while Boulder County jail records identify him as Okey Payne. Online court records show Payne has no prior arrests in Colorado, the newspaper reported.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of a beloved and longtime employee during a shooting incident at our community this morning,” Legacy Assisted Living said in a prepared statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
According to the Post, police believe the shooting occurred in the facility’s lobby and that Payne also pointed the weapon at two other people in the building before returning to his room, where he was later apprehended in possession of a small-caliber handgun.
“Our priority at this time is providing comfort and care to all that have been impacted by this senseless act,” Legacy Assisted Living stated. “While we cannot speak to specifics of this incident, we can confirm that we have a gun policy and that firearms are prohibited onsite. To maintain the integrity of the investigation process, we cannot share any other information at this time.”
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