Hannah R. Payne. Photo/Clayton County Jail.
A Fayetteville woman has been charged with murder in the shooting of a man in Clayton County when the gun she was carrying fired during an altercation between the two. She had followed the man who had reportedly left the scene of a hit and run accident in which he was involved.
Hannah R. Payne, 21, was charged with murder on May 8, according to Clayton County Jail records.
Payne on May 7 was involved in a shooting that resulted in the death of 62-year-old Kenneth Herring.
Clayton County Police Maj. Anthony Thuman at a news conference said Payne followed a pickup truck driven by Herring after he was involved in a hit and run with another vehicle.
Thuman said the statements provided by Payne relating to the shooting, which he could not discuss, are a part of the investigation.
The truck left the scene and Payne followed for approximately a mile to the intersection of Riverdale Road and Forest Parkway where she pulled her Jeep in front of Herring’s vehicle to prevent his movement, said Thuman.
Thuman noted that there was some type of altercation in which Payne, who is licensed to carry a weapon, left her vehicle and approached Herring. Thuman said it appeared that Payne was attempting to get Herring to return to the scene of the hit and run.
Herring died after being transported to an area hospital, news reports said.
“All we are at liberty to discuss at this point is during the struggle, the weapon was discharged,” Thuman said, adding that the investigation is ongoing but noting that there was sufficient evidence to charge Payne with murder.
As for the initial incident at the intersection of Interstate 285 and Riverdale Road that resulted in Payne becoming involved, Thuman said there was no indication that Payne knew either of the drivers in the crash.
It was also noted by Thuman that Payne, at some point, called 911 prior to the shooting. Thuman said it is customarily recommended that “people stay in their car and let officers responding handle the situation.”
Payne’s attorney, Matt Tucker, told news outlets that the gun fired after a struggle between Payne and Herring.
“She had a ripped shirt, she had scratch marks on her. It should be (finger) prints of his and hers on the gun,” Tucker said.
Commenting on the case, Thuman said, “This is a unique case where a citizen chose to intervene.”