BELOIT — The family of 26-year-old shooting victim Chelsey Renee Payton is demanding justice and asking those with any information about her death to come forward.
Family members said they have spoken with friends of Chelsey who were at the party on the night of the shooting who gave them names of multiple people who may have been shooting at the crowd.
“Get them people off the street. Nobody should have to go through this. They are still walking around,” Chelsey’s father, Curtis Payton Jr., said.
Around 2 a.m. on Saturday, Beloit police officers responded to a shots fired call in the area of Park and Grand avenues where many bullet casings were found. Chelsey Payton was transported to a hospital, where she later died and Jeffery D. Scott, 32, was treated for a non life-threatening wound and released from the hospital.
Beloit police say they are pursuing “many leads” in the investigation of Payton’s death.
On Monday, the department stated in a Facebook post that they are looking to speak with individuals present at the time of the shooting.
Those with information in the shooting are asked to call 608-757-2244 or submit an anonymous tip through the Greater Beloit Area Crime Stoppers at 608-362-7463. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through P3Tips.com
Chelsey’s father Curtis Payton Jr. and stepmom Kristi Payton of South Beloit, sister Kyesha Hodges of Beloit, aunt Elonda Britton of Milwaukee, cousin Jasmine Thompson of Milwaukee and her daughter and Chelsey’s cousin 1-year-old Chyeriah Chayim and Chelsey’s nephew and Kyesha Hodges’ son Markhii Nolan all gathered Monday afternoon to remember the beloved mother of five.
The family said they heard there were more than 200 people at the party Saturday morning and Chelsey got hit in the crossfire. They said they were told more than 35 bullet casings were found. Curtis Payton Jr. got the shocking call about his daughter’s death mid-morning Saturday.
The shooting leaves three boys and two girls ages 9, 7, 4, 3, and 1 without their mother, with her father and sister stepping in to take care of them.
Curtis Payton, who works full-time and owns CP’s Lawn Service, said he raised his children to love sports. He took custody of Chelsey and her brother Curtis Payton III when Chelsey was only 3 years old and raised his children on his own. He coached most every sport, with the kids playing T-ball, flag ball, tackle football, basketball and more.
“They were very active as children, and there was lots of competition between them,” Curtis Payton Jr. said.
Chelsey grew into an athletic and confident young woman. In high school Chelsey played basketball and did well in school. She and her sister Kyesha always vied for their father’s attention, but could laugh about it. They remained close and spoke often.
Chelsey graduated from Beloit Memorial High School in 2012 and was dreaming of buying a home and launching her own business, a resale children’s clothing business. With her dad running his own lawn care business and sister Kyesha Hodges running an eyelash business in addition to working as a nursing assistant, Chelsey also had the family’s entrepreneurial bent
She also loved her kids.
“She always was full of laughs and had a big smile which would light up a room,” Britton said. “She loved to be with family—swimming with the kids or going to the park.”
Britton said Chelsey always kept smiling, was the life of the family and rose above obstacles. Her family said she will be dearly missed by them as well as many in Beloit who knew and loved her.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the five children of Payton. To donate people can visit “Chelsey Payton’s Children” at GoFundMe.com.