MOLINE, Ill. – An amateur photographer captured this serene photo of a father fishing with his son moments before the man drowned while trying to save the boy.
Malik Williams, 25, took his girlfriend and mother of his two children, Heather Holmes, to Ben Butterworth Park in Moline, Illinois. Williams loved to fish, and he thought it would be a great chance for them to get some fresh air seeing as Holmes just gave birth to their son Joziah two weeks earlier, Inside Edition reports.
Williams was sitting on the dock with his 6-year-old son Jaden when 16-year-old Riley Gomez was touched by the serenity of the moment and decided to take a picture.
“It’s a daily thing of mine to go to the river and take pictures of the sunset. I go on the dock where Malik and his son were. They were just fishing and I saw this father and son bond, and I’m practicing my photography and I decided to capture pictures. I thought it was beautiful,” Gomez told FOX59.
No one could have imagined that would be the last photo ever taken of Williams.
A few minutes later, Jaden fell into the water.
“When I was going home, I turned around to see the sunset one last time and the little boy wasn’t on the dock anymore. I saw his father jump in,” Gomez said.
“Malik’s first instinct was to save his baby, so he jumped in not knowing how to swim trying to do everything he could to save Jaden,” the family said in a GoFundMe page created to help with funeral expenses.
Holmes began screaming for help, and a passerby jumped into the water and rescued Jaden. But the current pulled Williams out of reach, officials said.
Emergency responders were unable to find Williams.
Gomez shared the photo she took of Williams on the dock with his family.