95-Year-Old Assisted Living Home Resident Arrested After Fatally Shooting Employee To Stop Thefts

Boulder County Sheriff’s Office

Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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A 95-year-old resident of a Colorado assisted living center was arrested after fatally shooting an employee of the facility because the man was tired of staffers stealing money from him, numerous sources reported.

Okey Payne was accused of shooting and killing Ricardo Medina-Rojas, a maintenance worker at Legacy Assisted Living in Lafayette, located 22 miles north of Denver, the Associated Press reported. 

Payne told police that Medina-Rojas and possible others were stealing from him and that the most recent theft included two $100 bills from his wallet on Monday, according to Fox 16. After realizing his money was gone, Payne said he wanted the thefts to stop, so he went to the lobby with his gun and waited for Medina-Rojas. Payne said the victim “mumbled something” before he shot him once in the head. (RELATED: REPORT: Man In His Seventies Struggles With Home Invader, Shot In The Face, Expected To Live)

Medina-Rojas later died in the hospital. Payne also told police he had confronted another man about the money he believes was stolen, but that man did not reply to him, according to the AP. He said he was glad that the “thievery” will stop.

“Okey stated it was too bad he had to ‘waste’ him (Ricardo), but he’s hoping if something good comes from all this is that the stealing will stop,” the report said, according to the AP.

Payne told investigators that he had been told he could not have guns at the facility and had two guns taken from him and put in a storage facility separate from the care center. Payne said he used a .45 caliber gun to kill Medina-Rojas, and the weapon was given to him at age 23 by his father who had used it in World War 1, Fox 16 reported. 

He told investigators he believed employees were trying to kill him, and that he had woken up with needle marks in his big toe, leading him to believe employees were trying to drug him, Fox 16 reported. An officer who interviewed Payne said that he had difficulty hearing, but was otherwise “clear headed” while providing detailed information.

Payne was being held on suspicion of first-degree murder and menacing because he’s accused of waving his gun at two people who tried to help the victim.