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One Year Later, Wagoner Thanksgiving Shooting Victim Has Moved On

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The now 74-year-old Ken Payne was at Toppers Gun Range last Thanksgiving morning, when he was attacked and shot from behind by two men. The now 74-year-old Ken Payne was at Toppers Gun Range last Thanksgiving morning, when he was attacked and shot from behind by two men.
WAGONER, Oklahoma -

As the OSBI renews the $5,000 reward in his case, a Wagoner man who was shot and left for dead last Thanksgiving is sharing his story of survival.

It's been one year since Ken Payne nearly lost his life.

"It went through the roof of my mouth, my tongue, and out this side," Payne said.

The now 74-year-old Ken Payne was at Toppers Gun Range last Thanksgiving morning, when he was attacked and shot from behind by two men.

"If the gun had been aimed upward instead of downward, I'd be dead," Payne said.

Payne was in a coma for two weeks.

11/21/2012 Related Story: OSBI Renews Reward Offer For Information About Thanksgiving 2011 Shooting

He has lost nearly all of his hearing and has a speech impediment, something which has been very difficult for him, since he used to do a lot of public speaking.

In addition, his left leg has a titanium rod in it, and his left knee and ankle had to be rebuilt.

"It would be easy to be depressed and disturbed because of this, but I have too much to live for. I'm alive and that's important to me," Payne said.

The two men left his wallet and gold ring but stole four guns, including a rare Mitchell Black Lightning .22 magnum rifle and a gun caddy.

The OSBI has released sketches of the suspects. One is believed to be a Hispanic man in his 50s, 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds.

The other is in his mid-to-late 30s with collar-length, dark curly hair, also 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds.

"I don't care about them, at all. I don't give them any thought. I've never lost a night's sleep," Payne said.

Payne said his devoted wife and strong faith have helped him recover.

He's said he's also made a lot of new friends, some fellow gun enthusiasts who have replaced the weapons he had stolen.

He said he wants the suspects to know he's moved on, but if he came face-to-face with them, he does have a little advice.

"I'd tell them what lousy shots they are," Payne said.

A $5,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. If you can help investigators call the OSBI hotline at 1-800-522-8017.

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