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Church family said slain pastor always wanted to help

By Michaila Franklin

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    JACKSON, Mississippi (WAPT) — Close friends of slain Pastor Anthony Watts describe the 61-year-old as a man who didn’t know a stranger.

“That was the type of person he was. He always wanted to help. Always wanted to know what he can do whatever the circumstance may be,” said Karen Fairley.

Fairley’s father is an associate minister at St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church in D’Lo, Mississippi. Watts was the lead pastor of the congregation.

She said when Watts came to the church six years ago, he became family quickly.

“He always told you he loved you and his spirit was so sincere, so kind, and so loving to just everyone he came in contact with,” said Karen Fairley.

The minister from Simpson County was shot and killed Monday night after police said he stopped to help a man who crashed a stolen motorcycle. Police said the motorcyclist was Dylan Arrington, who had escaped from the Raymond Detention Center and died Wednesday during a house fire and shootout with law enforcement.

“The action that happened, we could understand why he did it, because that was just in his nature,” Fairley said.

The church held a candlelight vigil for Watts Tuesday night.

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