95-year-old murder suspect tells police he believed victim was stealing from him

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LAFAYETTE, Colo. (KDVR) — Okey Payne, the 95-year-old man accused of shooting and killing Ricardo Medina-Rojas, a maintenance worker at a Colorado assisted living facility, says Medina-Rojas and other employees were stealing from him.

Payne was arrested Wednesday morning after the shooting inside the lobby of Legacy at Lafayette where he lives.

According to new details released from a police interview, Payne said Medina-Rojas and possibly others had been stealing from him. Most recently, Payne told police two $100 bills were stolen from his wallet on Monday.

After discovering this, Payne said he wanted the thefts to stop. On Wednesday morning he went to the lobby with his gun and waited for the victim. Payne said he made the decision to shoot Medina-Rojas after he saw him walk in.

In the police interview, Payne told investigators that he had been told he could not have guns in the facility and had two guns taken away from him and put into an off-site storage facility. The .45 caliber gun he allegedly admitted to using in the shooting had been given to him by his father when he was 23 years old after the father used it in World War I.

In addition to the suspected theft, Payne said he believed employees were trying to kill him and that he’d woken up with needle marks in his big toe, which he believed were caused by staff members trying to drug him.

The officer who interviewed Payne noted that other than difficulty hearing, there were no other apparent issues. Payne was “clear headed” and “lucid” while providing detailed information about what happened and did not appear “confused or unable to comprehend questions.”

Payne’s reports of thefts had been investigated by the Lafayette Police Department and Adult Protective Services and were found to be unsubstantiated.

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