Content Disclaimer: This story contains graphic language of a violent nature.
New details regarding the death of former Michigan State basketball player Adreian Payne have emerged in an Orange County, Florida police affidavit. He describes the incident that led to the fatal encounter that left the 31-year-old dead.
Police responded to a shooting Monday morning in an Orlando neighborhood. There they discovered an injured Payne, who was taken to AdventHealth East Hospital and later died of his injuries. the the sheriff’s department said the suspect, Lawrence Dority, was transported from the scene to the headquarters of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. He was questioned and later charged with first degree murder.
According to the arrest warrant, Payne and Payne’s girlfriend were asked to come to the suspect’s house by Dority’s girlfriend. Payne’s girlfriend told police that she once went to Dority’s house to defuse domestic disputes between Dority and his girlfriend. Payne and his girlfriend arrived at Dority’s separately, according to the affidavit.
Dority’s father told police he was dropping Dority and Dority’s son off at the residence when he noticed an unknown vehicle parked near Dority’s house. Dority later told police he recognized the car as Payne’s.
Witnesses to the incident said they saw Payne and Dority engage in conversation outside Payne’s car. Dority’s father and Payne’s girlfriend could not hear the conversation between the two. According to the affidavit, Dority returned to her residence.
Payne’s girlfriend later told police that when he came out of his house it looked like he was carrying something under his shirt that she believed was a gun. Surveillance footage recovered by police captured audio and video footage of part of the incident, and police said a female voice could be heard saying, “Don’t draw your gun.” A single gunshot was then heard in the footage.
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The affidavit says police reviewed Dority’s 911 call after the shooting. He told the operator, “This man tried to come to my house, he cut around my block and tried to shoot me,” according to the report. He also said “he acted like he had a gun and I shot him” and “he took his gun, I ran inside my house and shot him” .
In an interview with police, Dority said he viewed Payne’s presence as a threat. Dority noted that their height difference made him feel threatened. Payne is 6’10” while Dority is 5’8″.
During their exchange, Dority said Payne continued to make motions with his right hand towards the right side of his waist where Dority said he observed the “shape of a gun”. Dority said Payne said, “I’ll smoke you, bra,” and Dority alleges that made him think he had a gun. Dority told police he was afraid of Payne and was protecting his home.
Payne was unarmed and no firearms were found in his car, according to the affidavit.
Dority pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning and dropped her indictment, according to court documents.
With the Spartans, Payne was a three-year starter and was named to the All-Big Ten team as a senior in 2013-14. He was taken at No. 15 in the 2014 NBA draft by the Hawks. He spent his four-year NBA career with Atlanta, the Timberwolves and the Magic.
Orlando released Payne in January 2018 after an ESPN report revealed he was charged with sexual assault during his freshman year at Michigan State. He did not face charges, as then-Ingham County, Michigan prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III said no crime had been committed and cited insufficient evidence.
Payne continued his career overseas.