Pastor Shot Several Times While Trying To Help Man Who Wrecked Motorcycle, Police Say

[Screenshot/YouTube/WLBT 3 On Your Side]

Font Size:

A Mississippi pastor was killed Monday after he pulled over to help a man who had wrecked his motorcycle, police say.

Anthony Watts, 61, was shot multiple times after he attempted to help a man who had wrecked his motorcycle along Interstate 55 around 7 p.m. Monday evening, CBS News reported. The man, believed to be one of four convicts who escaped Saturday night from the Raymond Detention Center, then stole Watts’ red Dodge Ram pickup truck, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Good Samaritan Shot At Waffle House While Handing Out Cash And Paying For Meals)

Though the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office announced it could not confirm that one of the convicts was responsible for the murder and carjacking of Watts, Jackson Police Chief James E. Davis stated preliminary investigations show the suspect fit the description of 22-year-old escapee Dylan Arrington, CBS News reported. Arrington, along with Casey Grayson, Corey Harrison and Jerry Raynes, reportedly escaped the detention facility near Jackson through breaches in a cell and the roof where it is believed they camped out before going their separate ways.

In July, a federal judge issued an order for a federal takeover of the detention center after it was determined Hinds County was “incapable, or unwilling, to handle its affairs,” WLBT reported at the time. Among the deficiencies at the jail were a lack of staffing and supervision which led to a “stunning array of assaults as well as deaths,” CBS reported.

“We can’t wait for the proliferation of more contraband. We can’t wait for more assaults. We can’t wait for another death. The time to act is now. There is no other choice, unfortunately,” Judge Carlton Reeves ruled, as reported by WAPT at the time.

In December the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed that order, handing control of the detention center back to the county, CBS News reported.

Church members at St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church, where Watts’ served as pastor, are mourning his death.

“Reverend Watts was a person that loved everyone. He didn’t meet no stranger. He would help you, do anything he could for you. He just loved everyone, and we loved him,” church member Vivan Ross told WJTV. (RELATED: Pastor Killed In Shooting At Texas Church)

“We are all in some sort of grief moment, but we know that God has the upper hand. We cast all of our cares upon him because he cares for everything that we have to go through, we have to deal with, even in this,” Reverend Carl Burton, associate pastor at St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church, told the outlet.