BLUEFIELD — See video of community reaction:
Friends and neighbors were mourning the loss of one friend and praying for another Tuesday morning after learning of a brutal robbery and murder in their community.
Bluefield police found John Watkins of 201 Burton Street dead in his home Monday night from an apparent gunshot wound after his wife, Monica Watkins, called for an ambulance, said Detective B.L. Hamm of the Bluefield Police Department.
Monika Watkins had also suffered a gunshot wound and other significant injuries, according to the police report. She was responsive and able to tell officers that she had been shot by Donald Adams, 54, of Bluefield. Adams was later arrested and told authorities that he planned to plead guilty to first-degree murder.
Patricia Rice, 60, of Wayne Street in Bluefield was talking to the Watkins’ neighbors, Maggie and Jack Hurd, about caring for Monica Watkins’ cats while she was away. They mourned the loss of John Watkins and asked that people pray for Monica.
“We’re close, real close,” Rice said, who added she usually chatted with her friend on Facebook every evening, but didn’t Monday night because she was taking care of a baby. Rice learned of the murder and robbery Tuesday morning.
Monica Watkins plays the piano for the Mount Zion Baptist Church, and John Watkins sang in the choir, Rice said.
Maggie and Jack Hurd were also talking with Rice about caring for Monica Watkins’ cats. The Watkins welcomed the Hurd family to the neighborhood when they arrived from Chicago three months ago.
“They were the first ones who welcomed us,” Maggie said. “They’re good, God-fearing folks. She invited me to church.”
“They were very nice people, very nice people,” Jack emphasized.
“She still is,” Maggie said. “He’s gone to the Lord now.”