BELOIT (WKOW) - Friends of Chelsey Payton say it is overwhelming to cope with the realization the mother of five was shot and killed Saturday.
"I don't know what happened," says Terrell Harley, Payton's friend since middle school. "Chelsey was standing right next to me and now she's gone," Harley says.
Beloit Police say Payton, 26, and Jeffrey D. Scott, 32, were both shot early Saturday morning. Police say the shooting took place in connection with a large gathering outside a building at 401 Park Avenue.
Harley says the building is a regular, weekend meeting place for many people to socialize. She says people typically gather inside, but with its popularity and the need to be mindful of capacity limits to decrease the risk of the transmission of COVID-19, there can be spill over to the sidewalk and street outside.
Harley asks to keep private her last moments with Payton and what Harley may have seen.
Beloit Police spokesperson Sarah Millard says Scott has been released from a hospital.
Shanya Phiffer is another nearly life-long friend with Payton. "She's always laughing, she's a very caring person," Phiffer says. "She cares about her kids."
Harley says Payton had been working additional shifts at a Beloit factory and the morning of her death was Payton's first rendezvous with friends for nearly a month.
Harley says finding Payton's killer should be a high priority for the Beloit community.
"If you know who did it, it's right for you to speak up," she says.
"I've spent time with Chelsey's kids every morning since she's been gone. That's a different kind of hurt," Harley says.
Beloit Police ask anyone with information to contact the Greater Beloit Area Crimestoppers at 608-362-7463.
Friends says Payton's children range in age from nine to one year old.
A GoFundMe page has been started to help the children of victim Payton: https://www.gofundme.com/f/chelsey-paytons-family