Shooting victim prayed to God before dying of injuries 

Before he died on Saturday, a 28-year-old father prayed repeatedly to God to forgive him for any wrongdoing and to spare his life for his daughters, his grief-stricken mother said yesterday.

Antoine Knowles was shot around noon and died in hospital just before midnight, according to police. 

Knowles, 28, an employee at AUTEC base in Andros, was at his family’s home on Cascarilla Street, Pinewood Gardens in New Providence, when gunmen shot him multiple times through a neighbour’s fence, according to his mother, Diane Knowles.

Police said they were searching for three suspects who fled the scene in a small, white, heavily tinted Japanese vehicle.

“I was inside and I called him to the front door and I said, ‘Baby, you still going to get the water for the water tank?’” Knowles recalled about the moments before the murder.

“He said, ‘yes mummy, give me a minute. I’m on the phone talking to somebody.’

“His daughter was sitting in the sofa in the front room playing her game.”

Next, Knowles said, she heard at least six loud banging sounds.

“I hear footsteps running, so I dragged my grand baby and I push her up under the bed, and I gone up under the bed,” she said.

“I had my cell phone in my hand and my cell phone started ringing. I heard my sister voice screaming saying, ‘Diane, you know your baby get shoot, you know Tacky get shoot? Come in the front.’”

“So I ran to the front of the yard and I met my son lying in my niece’s hallway all drenched in blood. He was alert and he was talking.

“I say, ‘my son, in the name of Jesus, call on the name of Jesus’, and I start calling on the name of Jesus. I say, ‘Jesus save my child, save my child.’

“He’s saying, ‘Mummy, I’m losing a lot of blood. I don’t want to die.’

“And my sister, she’s a minister, she started ministering to him. He started praying and praying and praying and saying the sinner’s prayer.

“He said, ‘Father, forgive me for what I’ve done. I know not what I’ve done. Forgive me for all of my sins and all of my wrongful doings, whatever they were.’

“He said, ‘Jesus, please save me, save my life for my daughters. I have three beautiful daughters’, and he was crying all the time. He was alert. All the shots he take, he was alert.

“I didn’t know how much it was, but I saw one shot went into the back and it came out through the abdomen. That’s what the doctors told me destroyed him. It destroyed his bowels. It destroyed the large and small intestine and destroyed the main artery going to his heart.”

The Nassau Guardian spoke to Knowles outside her home just feet away from where the murder took place.

Dozens of relatives and family friends were at the home, many of them with teary eyes as they mourned their loved one.

One of Knowles’ brothers remembered him as “a hardworking young man”.

“He had three children and an adopted daughter,” the brother said.

“He was working his hardest to take care of them. He only come over here to get his passport do and go where he was going.”

A cousin said through sobs, “Every morning, he would send an I love you text; every morning, he would say I love you”,

Knowles said her son was a carpentry supervisor at AUTEC. 

“My son wasn’t no jailbird,” she said.

“He didn’t have no ankle bracelet. He was the sweetest, [most] loving human being you would ever want to know. He was a good man. He helped and he gave. … If it was the shirt off his back, he’ll take it off and he’ll give it. He was a sweet, loving man.

“I don’t know what was going on out there behind his world. He never talked to me about his outside world.

“He showed me he loves life and he showed me he wanted to live because he say, ‘Mummy, tell the ambulance hurry up come. I don’t want to die. I want to live’.

“He said to me, ‘Mummy, I want to live. I don’t want to die’. Those were his words when they were wheeling him into the theater.

“He prayed and he prayed. He say, ‘Mummy’, and I was running alongside the gurney, ‘say the Our Father Prayer for me’.

“He said, ‘Our father, you are my father in heaven, please forgive me. Take me in your warm, loving embrace and keep me safe. Take me home with you, Lord.’

“He say, ‘Mummy, I love you, and tell everybody I love them too’. Last words, last words.”

Knowles leaves behind three biological daughters, ages eight, five and two, and a five-year-old adopted daughter.

“He was loving, sweet, humble, like a child with his children,” his mother said.

“He was like a child with his children. And he was like a baby when it comes to me. That’s why I call him my baby.

“He was a provider, he loved me and he loved life. He was a beautiful soul. I can assure you of that. From the top of his head to the soles of his feet. He was a beautiful soul.”

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