Memorial held at restaurant, where police say New Iberia woman was killed by boyfriend

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If you are experiencing domestic violence and need help, you can call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233 or visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline site for resources and live chat.

NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY)- New Iberia police have identified the victim of a shooting at Church’s Chicken Tuesday night as 31-year-old Fabeka Hayes.

Hayes’ friends say she was dating the man who shot her, and he pulled the trigger at her place of work.

Her loved ones held a memorial Wednesday afternoon to say their final goodbyes.

“Fabeka was… she was everything a person could ask for. She was nice, funny, goofy. She basically lifted up your spirit at any time,” Mariel Reed, one of Hayes’ best friends, said.

When Reed heard her friend had been shot, her first reaction was to pick up her phone and call her just like she’d done so many times before.

This time, however, Hayes never picked up.

“I called her last night and not getting a response back, her not answering the phone, it’s just hitting different. All I could do was cry because she’s really gone,” she said.

Police believe Hayes’ death may have been a domestic-related shooting. 51-year-old Clarence Payton is charged with her murder.

“They seemed happy. I didn’t know anything. It was like the cutest couple ever. I don’t know,” Reed added.

Among Hayes’ friends and family at her memorial were others from the community, speaking out against domestic abuse and violence.

“This can be a warning right here for some young lady that is in an abusive relationship right now. She has an opportunity still to get out of it while the blood is running warm in her veins and she still has the breathe of life. Pack up and go,” Billy Reaux, a local evangelist, said.

He says he hopes Hayes’ name or her story won’t be forgotten.

“Love doesn’t hurt. Love doesn’t hit you. True love will not kill you,” Reaux added.

Police say Hayes’ alleged shooter, Clarence Payton, is charged with first degree murder.

He is being held in the Iberia Parish Jail.

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