A 95-year-old resident of an assisted-living centre in Colorado has been accused of first-degree murder following the fatal shooting of an employee who might have owed him money.
The shooting occurred about 7am on Wednesday (local time) in the lobby of the Legacy Assisted Living facility in Lafayette, about 35 kilometres north-west of Denver, when the victim arrived for work, Deputy Police Chief Brian Rosipajla said.
The worker, identified only as a man in his 40s who was the facility’s maintenance director, was confronted by resident Okie Payne, who pulled out a handgun and fired one round, Mr Rosipajla said.
As two people came to his aid, Mr Payne pointed the gun at them before retreating to his living quarters. He was later arrested there without incident, Mr Rosipajla said.
He said police were investigating what led up to the shooting.
“All we know right now is it was supposedly over money,” he said.
The victim was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead hours later.
Legacy called the shooting a “senseless act” and said the facility was making grief counsellors available to residents and staff.
It was not clear how a resident would have obtained a weapon. The facility has a gun policy prohibiting firearms on site, the statement said.
Mr Payne has lived at the home since October 2019. The victim was an eight-year employee who was “truly beloved by residents and staff”, the company said.
Mr Payne was taken to Boulder County jail, where he was held without bond on suspicion of first-degree murder, as well as two counts of felony menacing for brandishing the weapon, Mr Rosipajla said.