Shawn Payne

Lakewood police didn’t believe their luck at first Tuesday night.

At the scene after a struggle between a mystery assailant and a woman who’d reported she’d been shoved inside her Ford F250 pickup truck before breaking free in the parking lot of a Target store, officers found a wallet on the ground.

They opened it and found a man’s ID: Shawn Mautrice Payne.

“Initially, officers thought there was high probability it was stolen,” said Lakewood police spokesman Steve Davis. “We didn’t know if it was a good name or not.”

Instead, the discovery set into motion events which tracked Payne to Grand Junction, leading Mesa County authorities in a high-speed pursuit before fatally shooting him on Interstate 70 Wednesday morning. Payne, 36, died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, the Mesa County Coroner’s Office said Friday.

Police since Wednesday have declined all comment about the case, citing an active investigation by Mesa County’s Critical Incident Team, a collection of local law enforcement agencies. It was still unclear Friday how many local officers were involved in Wednesday’s shooting and are now on leave as a result of the investigation, or which agencies they work for.

Davis on Friday said investigators believe Payne had only recently moved to Denver and had come to Colorado from Alabama. Payne also has ties to Florida. Records reviewed Friday by The Daily Sentinel showed Payne has criminal history in Florida and Alabama. Payne was arrested and convicted in 2011 of battery causing bodily harm in Santa Rosa County, Florida, and sentenced to probation in October of that year. A judge approved a request for early termination of probation in May 2012.

Payne pleaded no contest in January 2012 to a felony fraud charge, also in Santa Rosa County.

He was arrested in August 2005 by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department in Florida on suspicion of felony eluding a police officer “with lights and sirens” and resisting arrest. Court records suggest he pleaded no contest to a lesser charge and was ordered to complete classes in a defensive-driving school.

Payne was among a group of individuals indicted on suspicion of cocaine possession in 1999 by a grand jury in Monroe County, Alabama.

State prosecutors moved to dismiss the case in March 2002.

Lakewood police have said there was evidence at the scene of Tuesday night’s incident at Target, 14500 W. Colfax Ave., that the suspect tried to sexually assault the woman loading groceries into her pickup. She managed to break free, run inside the store and call 911 as the assailant sped away in her truck.

The next morning, Payne allegedly led Mesa County officers in a pursuit on I-70 before the truck he was driving was forced off the road near the Colorado-Utah line. Authorities have said Payne emerged from the truck and pointed a gun, prompting officers to open fire.


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