The last horrifying moments of an unarmed 62-year-old Black driver were detailed in a Georgia court during a hearing on Tuesday for the young white woman charged with his murder. Hannah Payne, 21, shot and killed Kenneth Herring after she witnessed a hit and run she wasn’t involved in Clayton County on the afternoon of May 7.
Clayton County Police Detective Keon Hayward testified that Payne called 911 after seeing Herring drive away from a minor fender bender he had with another driver, according to 11 Alive. Payne dropped her phone but could be heard threatening Herring, Hayward said.
“Get out of the car, get out of the car, get out of the f****** car,” Payne reportedly said. “I’m going to shoot you.”
Hayward testified that when she picked the phone back up, she told the operator, “He just shot himself with my gun.”
Watch a clip from the detective’s testimony below.
Payne’s defense attorney argued that her actions were all in self-defense and that she received “mixed communication” from the 911 operator. There was a motion to dismiss the charges, which Judge William H. West denied.
On the afternoon of May 7, Payne allegedly witnessed a minor hit and run accident in Georgia. She reportedly hunted Herring down for one mile and blocked his car at an intersection. She ended up shooting him.
Herring may have left the scene because he was in the middle of a medical emergency, 11 Alive reported. A witness described it as “probably like diabetic shock.”
Outside of the courthouse on Thursday, Herring’s wife predicted Payne would pay for the killing.
“I believe she’s gonna be found guilty cause everything points to her,” Christine Herring said. “She was the one following the man a whole mile, and then shot him.”
She continued, “I was still trying to figure out why she was trying to actually follow him all the way, block him in and kill him. I’m still trying to figure that out, what was the point?”
The apparent vigilante killing is reminiscent of the murder charges faced by George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who stalked and killed Trayvon Martin after police advised him against approaching the unarmed teenager in 2014. In Payne’s case, the 21-year-old reportedly witnessed Herring hit another car and drive off. That allegedly prompted Payne, who was legally carrying her concealed gun, to drive after Herring for about a mile, catch up to him, block his car with hers, get out of her car, engage in a struggle with him and then shoot him to death.
We hope the Herring family gets justice.