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95-year-old man admitted shooting assisted-living worker, Lafayette police affidavit says

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Posted at 5:03 PM, Feb 04, 2021

LAFAYETTE, Colo. — The 95-year-old man accused of killing a maintenance worker at his nursing home in Lafayette on Wednesday admitted to police that he shot the victim, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released by police.

Okey Payne faces a murder charge in the death of Ricardo Medina-Rojas, who was shot once in the head at the Legacy at Lafayette nursing home.

Payne told the investigating officer that he "blew Ricardo away" and said it was too bad he had to "waste" him, according to the affidavit.

Payne claimed that employees at Legacy were stealing money from him, but his claims — which had been investigated by Lafayette police and Adult Protective Services — were unsubstantiated.

Payne told police that he woke up Wednesday morning, thinking about putting a stop to the alleged thefts, the affidavit said. He watched Medina-Rojas come into the building and waited for him to complete safety checks, police said.

Payne said he then confronted Medina-Rojas and asked him about his money, according to the affidavit. When Medina-Rojas responded, Payne shot him once in the head, Payne told police, according to the affidavit.

A fellow worker tried to help Medina-Rojas, but Payne, who was still holding the pistol, told them, "You're next," the affidavit said.

Payne walked back to his room and waited for police. Medina-Rojas was taken to a hospital, where he later died.

Payne told police that staff at the nursing home had previously confiscated his guns, which aren't allowed in the facility. A housekeeper told police that Payne had carried the pistol in a bag attached to his walker.

Police noted in the affidavit that Payne was "clear headed, lucid and he provided detailed information regarding this incident."

However, the housekeeper, told police that Payne had been paranoid and was convinced someone had installed cameras in his bedroom. The housekeeper, according to the affidavit, told police that she heard Payne say: "Someday I'm going to kill them. What are they going to do? Give me life?"

Legacy Assisted Living of Lafayette issued a new statement Thursday saying they had started a GoFundMe page for the family of Medina-Rojas..

“As staff and residents continue to process yesterday’s tragic event, we are remembering a cherished member of our community, Ricardo Medina-Rojas. He was a dedicated, hardworking and caring employee. A memorial of candles and flowers has steadily grown today as staff and residents pay their respects. In addition, a GoFundMe page has been started in support of Ricardo’s family – to whom we extend our deepest condolences. In light of the released arrest report, it’s vital to all of us at The Legacy that unsubstantiated allegations do not mar his memory.”