Malik Williams and his girlfriend Heather took their two young sons on a trip to a nearby lake. While the mother from Illinois was feeding two-week-old Joziah in the car, Malik and six-year-old Jaden were fishing on the dock. Riley Gomez, a 16-year-old amateur photographer, was also at the lake and took this picture of the two. “I just saw this father and son bond. I thought it was a really nice thing,” said Gomez. She had no idea that this would be the last picture showing Malik alive.
A few minutes later Heather heard a scream; Jaden had fallen into the water. Though Malik couldn’t swim, he instinctively dived into the lake to rescue his son. A bystander came to their aid and was able to pull the six-year-old out of the water. But when he turned his attention to the father, the current had already carried Malik away. It was now too late for the young man.
“He didn’t even hesitate. He would do everything and anything for Jaden,” said Heather, while trying to hold back the tears. Her one comfort during this distressing time is the last photo depicting Malik with the son he loved so much that he gave his life for him.
“It’s really sad,” said Gomez. “But I’m glad I can give his family one last thing to remember him by. One of his favorite things to do was fishing. So to have that last moment, to capture that — I’m just happy I could give them this gift.”