On Mother’s Day, most mothers are spending time with their families. But in Georgia, one woman and her family were planning a funeral instead. The wife of 62-year-old Kenneth Herring was still searching for answers days after he was killed by Hannah Payne, an accused murderous vigilante who has been dubbed the “female George Zimmerman.”
Payne, a white 21-year-old woman, killed Herring, an elderly Black man, in the town of Riverdale on Tuesday evening. After Payne observed Herring flee from a minor hit-and-run accident, she allegedly followed his car for a mile, boxed him in with her Jeep and shot him following an altercation. She allegedly did all of that Instead of waiting for authorities, who police said she called before the shooting.
Christine Herring said she wants to know why Payne felt the need to take the law into her own hands and kill her senior citizen husband.
“I don’t know what happened with the accident, but if anything you should have taken his tag number down and called police, and that’s what she should have been concerned with, not running him down,” Christine told Fox 5 on Saturday. “What is she? The traffic police? A security guard? I don’t know.”
The 21-year-old apparently trigger-happy vigilante made her first court appearance on Wednesday and was charged with murder without malice related to the shooting. Herring’s wife said she was struggling to understand what was going through Payne’s mind.
“I don’t understand why she got out of the car with the gun. I am still trying to get past that,” she said. “If I can get past that, then maybe I can understand the situation a little more, because nobody in their right mind does that.”
Payne’s lawyer claimed the shooting was an “unfortunate situation of a good Samaritan trying to stop a person on a hit-and-run,” but the incident mirrored that of other cases of white vigilantes taking Black lives into their own hands. One of the most notable was that of the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin at the hands of neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. Zimmerman followed the 17-year-old as he was walking back from a convenience store and shot him following an altercation.
Emails recently sent to NewsOne by people who are supposedly friends or acquaintances of Payne argued that Payne is not racist, had Black friends and lived in a racially diverse neighborhood. Despite what Payne’s supporters claim about her character, a family is without a father and grandfather, who Christine described as very active in his family’s lives.
“He likes to go fishing. he likes football, like most men all sports, football was the thing,” she said. “He liked music. He was a good guy.”