MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

November 25, 2011

Wagoner police seeking shooter

Air Force veteran hospitalized after gun range incident

— Investigators from the Wagoner Sheriff’s Department and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation are looking for information in the shooting of a Wagoner man early Thursday.

The OSBI report states Kenneth Wallace Payne, 73, was at Toppers Gun Range near Wagoner when someone shot him multiple times around 7:30 a.m. Payne called a family member on his cell phone for help.

Wagoner County Sheriff Bob Colbert said investigators are looking for a description of possible suspects and vehicles.

“We’re just asking anyone that possibly saw anything unusual between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. near Toppers Road to let us know,” Colbert said. “We don’t have a lot to go on right now.”

Colbert said Payne was taken to a Tulsa hospital, and he was told Payne had been stabilized. A condition report from the hospital was not available Thursday.

“(Payne) is an Air Force veteran. I mean, we just honored this guy and other veterans, like, two weeks ago, and now someone tries to kill him,” Colbert said. “It’s just mind-boggling.”

Colbert said investigators are trying to determine if the shooting was random, or if Payne was targeted.

 The report said at least four guns and a portable tool chest were stolen from Payne. OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown said they don’t know exactly what type of guns were taken.

“We have an idea of what the guns were,” Brown said. “But we can’t say exactly for certain for what they were until we can talk to (Payne) more. If anyone happens to come across guns they think may have been taken, they can certainly call us with the information.”

She said it was possible the tool chest that was taken contained ammunition.

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com

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