Payson Man Killed During Argument


Payson Police responded to a fatal shooting Sunday night on Chalet Circle.

Officers were dispatched to the home of Lucien and Beverly LaBonte shortly before 10 p.m., where Beverly reported that her husband, 68, and Richard Pattay, 63, were arguing in the garage.

"The (reporting party) said her husband just shot the male subject," the police dispatcher said.

When police arrived, Pattay was dead and appeared to have been shot multiple times, Payson Police Lt. Don Engler said.

"We will know more about the details of the shooting after the autopsy, which is scheduled for this afternoon," Engler said.

The LaBonte's son, Dennis, lives across the street and arrived shortly after the police.

"My father and I were out scouting javelina all day and my mother told us that (Pattay) had come to the house twice and he was really agitated," Dennis LaBonte said. "My father told him to come back Monday. He wasn't supposed to come back to the house."

LaBonte said Pattay wanted a gun back that he had traded to his father.

"My dad and Richie had traded guns -- they are both gun collectors," Dennis said. "Ritchie took the gun to the firing range and didn't like it and wanted his gun back.

"It must have been more than that to make him that angry, though."

Engler confirmed that Pattay was upset about the gun exchange.

"Evidently there had been a firearms transaction between Mr. LaBonte and Mr. Pattay," Engler said.

"Evidently, Mr. Pattay was not happy with the performance of the firearm he ended up with in the deal.

"He'd become upset over that during the day and had contacted Mr. LaBonte's wife several times during the day, waiting for him to return."

Pattay returned a third time and what happened next is the subject of a continuing investigation.

"When Mr. Pattay found out that Mr. LaBonte was returning around 10 p.m. that evening, he went to the residence," Engler said, "and they had a disagreement about the weapon."

"My mom said Richie forced his way in and held my dad at gunpoint and told him to go downstairs," the son said.

Lucien LaBonte told officers that Pattay fired twice at him before he allegedly fired the fatal shots.

"It evolved to the point where there were shots fired by both of the gentlemen," Engler said. "We still can't comment on the exact number of rounds fired by the men. We will have more answers this afternoon."

"My father said he shot at either side of him," Dennis said. "He told me he thought my mother had followed them downstairs and that she might get shot."

Lucien LaBonte had a lengthy career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office and is an experienced marksman, according to his son. He and Pattay had known each other for about a year.

Engler would not speculate on what shot actually killed Pattay.

"Even though we might have opinions, until (the medical examiner) examines the wounds closely, it's difficult to say," Engler said.

"We are going to let the pathologist make that determination."

Engler said Lucien LaBonte has not been charged with anything at this time.

"The investigation is continuing to try to piece everything back together," Engler said. "But no charging decisions have been made at this point."

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