Kavonda Earl Payton, Suspect Killed by Cop: Dangerous Robber or Loving Family Man?
A Facebook photo of Kavonda Early Payton. Additional images and more below.
Update: Last week, we told you about the officer-involved shooting of a man who'd allegedly robbed a Fast-N-Friendly outlet in Aurora; see our previous coverage below. Now, the Aurora Police Department has identified the person killed as 39-year-old Kavonda Earl Payton -- and there's a very large difference between his portrayal by the APD and the way those in his orbit are remembering him.
At about 10:30 p.m. on January 15, as we've reported, Aurora police officers were called to the Fast-N-Friendly at 138 Del Mar Circle on a report of an armed robbery.
The gunman was wearing a mask, but he was described as a black male -- and when a responding officer saw an African-American man speeding from the area in a sedan with its lights off, he followed.
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The result was a chase that ended near East 6th Avenue and Tower Road. Police say the suspect, now identified as Payton, fled his car, which was brought to a halt via a PIT maneuver, and ignored orders to drop the handgun he held -- at which point he was shot. He subsequently died of his injuries. Meanwhile, a person riding with him was taken into custody; police say that man, Antione Calvin Spencer, has been charged with aggravated robbery.
Payton had at least one previous brush with the law -- a 2012 bust in Adams County that resulted in a booking photo seen in the following screen capture from JustMugshots.com:
However, Payton's online obituary characterizes him as both loving and big-hearted. A memorial message reads:
This man here was a ONE and ONLY. He cared for everyone. When we met in 2005, I lost a 2 year old and he tried his best to hold me up. Since then ,we have become the best of friends and always he would scold me like I was a child. He just wanted the best for everyone. I will love you forever and miss you extremely.
Another mourner adds:
He was a stand-up guy in my book and I'm truly saddened to hear of his untimely passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, children, and the entire Payton family.
The posts are even more emotional on Payton's Facebook page, to which his wife has been posting since his death. Along with this photo....
..she wrote: "This man right here will always be the Luv of my life forever and always.... I am so lost without u baby." On another post, a click away from a gallery featuring multiple images of Payton embracing young children, she writes, "My sons [and] beautiful stepdaughter got to be without their daddy."
The case remains under investigation, with an analysis of the shooting expected to be released by the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office in the coming weeks.
Continue for our original coverage of the fatal shooting at the Fast-N-Friendly outlet, including additional photos and a video. Original post, 5:44 a.m. January 16: Last night at about 10:30 p.m., a robbery went down at Fast-N-Friendly, a gas station and store in Aurora. Within minutes, police tracked down a suspect, and when he allegedly brandished a weapon, they shot him dead. Here's the latest information, including photos and video.
According to the Aurora Police Department, the incident got underway at the Fast-N-Friendly, located at 138 Del Mar Circle, an area captured in the following interactive graphic. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
View Larger Map
Initial reports described an armed robbery, with the suspect wearing what 7News characterizes as a Halloween mask. The man in question is said to have demanded cash while brandishing a black handgun and then split.
Upon their arrival, officers were told the robber was a black male -- and a cop who saw a sedan with no lights on leaving the area at a high rate of speed decided to follow it.
By the way, the APD release notes that "the officer identified one of the occupants" -- there were two -- "to be a black male matching the description given earlier." Presumably, that description stopped and started with him being black, since he'd worn a mask during the crime.
The chase continued onto eastbound 6th Avenue, ending near 6th and Tower Road after the officer utilized a so-called PIT maneuver. At that point, one of the occupants fled the vehicle, reportedly while in possession of a black handgun, and when he refused to drop the weapon and surrender, the cops opened fire.
The man was hit, and although officers performed "life-saving measures," in the APD's term, he was pronounced dead a short time later at an area hospital.
The other man in the car was arrested without incident, and a person involved in an accident apparently caused by the chase wasn't badly injured.
Neither the person in custody nor the man killed in the shootout has been identified at this writing, nor have the officers involved been named. Meanwhile, an investigation into the circumstances continues. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Alton Reed at 303-739-6068.
Look below to see a 7News report about the shooting.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.