Robbery, slaying shock Ahwatukee
Murdered employee described as 'kind man'
Originally Posted by arthurracoon
What happened in this?
Sarah Muench and Corinne Purtill
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 18, 2005
Ahwatukee residents were shocked Monday to hear about the shooting death of a local convenience store employee who was a former Harlem Globetrotter executive.
Surveillance video shows 38-year-old Marvin Walters being shot in the head early Sunday morning while trying to grab a robber's gun at the Water and Ice Car Wash store near Chandler Boulevard and 46th Street.
Phoenix Police Sgt. Lauri Williams said Walters was filling in on a night shift.
"The guy was just trying to provide for his family and someone came in and had to take what was not theirs," Williams said.
Phoenix police said convenience stores close to Interstate 10 like the Water and Ice Car Wash are crime hot spots in Ahwatukee Foothills.
"Ahwatukee is a pretty safe place most of the time," said Williams, a Phoenix police spokeswoman. "Unfortunately, convenience markets are a target for them."
Before working for the Globetrotters, Walters, a Philadelphia native, was a point guard for the Fairfield University basketball team in Connecticut.
Angel Zelaya, 41, a clerk who worked with Walters, said he was shocked to hear his co-worker was killed on the job.
"I've been working this kind of job for a long time," said Zelaya, who said he has worked at convenience stores in Ahwatukee for nearly nine years. "We never know. It could be in the morning, it could be in the night time, it could be any time. We never expect that in Ahwatukee. Right here it's so quiet."
Police said the same man robbed Classic Care Car Mart at 56th Street and Ray Road in Tempe about 15 minutes before he killed Walters.
Williams said the robber ordered Walters, who was being groomed for management, into a back room, but he decided to walk out of the store and run from the scene. The killer took an undetermined amount of money from the register and fled.
"It's not anything you can control," Williams said. "Some places are more violent than others, but there's no rhyme or reason to it."
The Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce is considering reviving safety in business meetings it held for at least a year, in light of recent crime in the community.
In the past year there also have been armed robberies at a hotel, banks and a jewelry store. Last November, an armored car guard was slain in front of the AMC Ahwatukee 24 theaters.
In reaction to the latest killing, Chamber of Commerce President and state Rep. John McComish said on Monday morning: "It's just awful . . . .To think someone with a gun in his hand is running loose."
Bob Brown, manager of the Water and Ice Car Wash where Walters was shot said the store had been open since April 1 and Walters was training to become a manager.
"I was looking forward to working with him," Brown said. He said he was a "very kind man, very easy to work with, always smiling."
Brown said he and others are setting up a bank account for the family with Bank One.
Jan Miles lived next to Walters near Pecos Road and 32nd Street until he moved out suddenly one night about five to six years ago.
She said he traveled frequently for work and would offer her free Globetrotters tickets when they came to town.
"He was really nice that way, he was really friendly," she said.
The man who killed Walters is described as Hispanic, 20 to 27 years old, 5 feet 9 to 5 feet 11 with brown eyes, light mustache, a muscular build and a shaved head. He was wearing a black T-shirt, dark pants and a white Arizona Cardinals baseball hat, which he left at the scene. He has a tattoo on the side of his neck bearing numbers. He left the store on foot.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 262-6141, or Silent Witness at (480) WITNESS.