SLATON, Texas – 35-year-old Codie Payne survived an attack on his life after he was shot by 49-year-old Jamie Pruett at an Allsups in Slaton.
Payne said he was targeted by Pruett after he had a falling out with the suspected shooter. Payne was a former employee of Pruett, working around his mechanic shop when he started noticing several red flags.
“The first problems I started having were him not wanting to pay me,”said Payne. Payne had also trusted Pruett with repairing his motorcycles and truck but noticed that weeks had gone by with no progress being made.
Payne says he tried to get his vehicles back from Pruett but instead was faced with aggression and death threats, so he decided to ask law enforcement for help.
Payne says he previously filed a police report against Pruett and says it should have been a red flag for law enforcement to look into Pruett before the shootings happened. But when he finally got his truck back, the tires were slashed.
The two would continue with their disagreements until Payne asked to smooth things over. Thats when they were set to meet at an Allsups in Slaton to sign a car title over.
“As I come around the back of the truck, he comes out of the car, turns around and immediately pointed the gun right at my face and pulled the trigger and I felt the gunpowder residue on the side of my face and I just kind of stood there for a second in shock. Like I really thought he just shot me in my face and I was waiting to just fade out,” said Payne.
Instead, the bullet barely missed him, hitting the side of his car.
“So then he points the gun back at me, but he moves it down and aims to my body to make sure, I guess, for a bigger target and I started to try to run but he had pulled the trigger already. I thought he missed again, but I felt like the back of my arm getting warm,” said Payne.
The second bullet hit Payne and entered and exited through his arm, grazing the size of his chest. Payne then ran inside the gas station to call for help while he says Pruett casually drove away.
Now, Payne is trying to cope with what happened, ”I can’t sleep, every time I close my eyes, I see it all over again. I feel more affected now than I did the day it was happening. Yesterday, I was at the gas station pumping gas and somebody started a motorcycle up and I thought I was going to die.”
Payne says he also feels shaken up after checking his cameras at home and realizing that Pruett had paid a visit to his house earlier that morning but drove away.
“He would have shot and killed me here. My house, I’d have been the first one,” said Payne, also feeling guilt for not doing more, “I’ve played this over in my head so many times, so many different scenarios, so many ways I could have done it differently that could have changed the outcome of this. I could have turned and followed him to see what he was up to and possibly stopped it all from happening.”
Payne is currently working on connecting with more victims affected by Pruett and is speaking with an attorney to look into pursuing additional charges.