Former Michigan State basketball star Adrian Payne was shot and killed Monday morning in Orlando, Florida. He was 31.
The fatal shooting took place at around 1:30 am in 2500 block of Egret Shores Drive.
According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Payne was found with gunshot wounds and taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The alleged shooter, 29-year-old Lawrence Dority, had stopped at the scene and was arrested on warrant For first-degree murder. He was taken to the Orange County Jail.
Officials did not provide any information about what led to the shooting.
The six-foot-10 star was the Atlanta Hawks’ first-rounder in the 2014 NBA draft after completing his four-year college career. He played four seasons with several teams in the NBA.
Payne was loved by even the youngest fans. He formed a strong friendship with 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth, a cancer patient whom he met when the Spartans visited a hospital where Lacey was undergoing treatment for neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer of the nervous tissue.
During her senior year, he took her to court for senior night. Lacey also helped cut the nets after MSU won the Big Ten Championship.
“She’s like a sister to me,” Payne said in a tear-jerking video about their bond posted by Big Ten Network. “I love him,” she declared.
His sweet relationship with the pair, who were reportedly texting daily, flourished before his death in 2014. Payne paid tribute to Lacey with his teammates during a heartfelt ceremony at the Breslin Center.
After leaving the NBA, Payne continued his career at the international level with several teams in Greece, China and Lithuania.