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Community remembers business owner murdered outside Glendale store

Posted at 10:58 PM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 07:47:41-05

GLENDALE, AZ  — More than 100 people gathered Tuesday night to remember a loving husband, a respected businessman, and a selfless neighbor.

Ray Watkins was known as somebody who was always willing to help a stranger. Tragically, he was killed Saturday night by a man police say he barely knew.

Glendale detectives say Sean Davidson shot Watkins multiple times. Davidson had been a customer at The Astrology Store which Watkins ran with his husband Dave Campbell. Davidson had been banned from the store for harassing employees.

On Saturday, after visiting the store earlier in the day, police say Davidson bought a gun at a pawn shop and ammunition. He then returned and waited in the back alley for Watkins to get off of work. Police say he also admitted to wanting to kill Watkins’ husband, who was inside the store at the time of the murder.

The crime is still hard to comprehend for those who knew and loved Watkins.

“He would help anybody. He would help the neighbor with their projects, even if we were behind,” said Campbell, who had been with Watkins for 20 years. “He would stop and go do stuff for others [and] any charity. He would raise money for other people in the community.”

“The most helpful, kindest person,” said Gilbert Olivas, a friend and neighboring business owner. “Just a really open, loving dude. So to think that anybody would want to target someone like that for any reason is just beyond belief.”

“It shook the community. I know the other stores are really affected by it, and torn apart as well,” said Campbell.

Olivas never imagined a murder scene could unfold just feet from Glendale Police Department headquarters.

“It’s kind of terrifying to be honest, man. I had students in here doing private lessons,” said Olivas, who runs a martial arts studio. “We are in downtown Glendale, which is probably one of the safest places in the city, so for something like that to happen, it’s unreal.”

Now, Watkins will be remembered in photos, the lives he touched, and the community he loved to serve.

Court documents state that Davidson was arrested after leading DPS troopers on a high-speed chase that culminated in him flipping his car.

He allegedly confessed to the murder in a written note they found in his bedroom and detectives say he told them he was on his way to Mexico.

Investigators say Davidson told them “he shot and killed the victim because he felt that the victim was sexually assaulting him in his sleep.”

Officers noted in the arresting documents that Davidson was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of his arrest.

Davidson is being held on a $2 million cash-only appearance bond.