Police: Adreian Payne killed intervening in domestic dispute; alleged shooter pleads not guilty

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Adreian Payne was killed while attempting to assist a woman who was involved in an abusive relationship with his alleged shooter, court documents state.

The former Michigan State and NBA player was pronounced dead at an Orlando hospital after being shot early Monday morning. He was 31 years old. His alleged shooter Lawrence Dority remained at the scene of the shooting and cooperated with police. Dority pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder with a firearm on Tuesday.

Alleged details emerge from scene of Payne's shooting

According to court documents obtained by the Detroit Free Press, Payne went to Dority's house early Monday morning with his girlfriend at the request of Dority's girlfriend. Payne's girlfriend told authorities that she “has previously responded to be a mediator to prevent any physical violence” between Dority and his girlfriend.

EAST LANSING, MI - FEBRUARY 13:  Adreian Payne #5 of the Michigan State Spartans looks towards the bench during the second half of the game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Breslin Center on February 13, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans defeated the Wildcats 85-70.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Adreian Payne, seen here with Michigan State in 2014. (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Dority, meanwhile, told police that his father had dropped him off at his Orlando residence when he saw an unfamiliar car parked at a nearby intersection. Per documents, Dority told Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies that he approached the car to find Payne and his girlfriend inside.

Conflicting accounts from alleged shooter, witness

Dority's father watched from his car and told police that Payne and his son started "talking close together" while Payne remained in his vehicle and that his son “appeared to be intimidated based on the size difference and [his son’s] stance.” Payne was 6-foot-10 and 244 pounds while Dority is 5-8 and 150 pounds.

Dority told police that Payne told him "I'll smoke you brah" and that he observed "the shape of a gun" while “making movements with his right hand in the right side of his waist band." Per Dority, that prompted him to retrieve his gun from inside his house and shoot Payne.

A witness told police that Payne "was not threatening Dority in any way.” Payne's girlfriend told police that Payne didn't pose a threat. A camera and microphone on the scene recorded a woman pleading with Dority “do not pull out your gun” and “we were asked to come here,” according to the affidavit.

Dority claimed self-defense

Dority then allegedly fired a single shot at Payne before retreating to his house. Dority's father told police that he approached Payne in effort to provide medical aid to find him in the driver's seat of the car. Per court documents, Dority called 911 and told police that he shot Payne in self-defense.

“This man tried coming to my house, he cut around my block, and he tried shooting me," Dority told the 911 dispatcher, per the documents. … "He act like he got a gun, and I shot him.”

Florida has a stand-your-ground law that states the following:

“A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

Police didn't find a gun on Payne's person or in his car and determined that Payne "did not pose an immediate threat" to Dority, according to documents. Dority was charged with murder after undergoing questioning at a police station.

Payne starred in four seasons at Michigan State, where he was twice named All-Big Ten second-team and helped the Spartans to an Elite Eight run as a senior. He was the No. 15 pick in the 2014 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks and played three seasons in the league that included stints with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic. He was remembered fondly by his former coaches and teammates including Tom Izzo and Draymond Green upon the news of his death Monday.

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