GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A father remembers his son and wife who were shot and killed in unincorporated Flowery Branch late last month. He said another child was home at the time and was spared.
Atif Muhammad said it’s a miracle his 8-year-old son was unharmed during a shooting that left the little boy’s mother and older brother dead at the end of March, but he’s worried about the child’s mental health considering he was there when loved ones found the victims.
In an instant, a large tight-knit family was ripped apart.
"He took what's most precious from me," Muhammad said.
Muhammad, still plagued by the death of his 15-year-old son, "Little Atif," and his wife Mary Linsey, said his family desperately needs counseling.
"I haven't gotten much sleep. I keep thinking of their final moments. They're haunting me," he said.
Gwinnett County police responded to a call on Friday, March 26.
When they arrived, they found the mother and son shot to death. The shooter took off and days later, authorities arrested him on his way to Mexico.
Weeks later, Muhammad revealed his daughter found the mother and son locked in a bedroom in their home.
He was on Facetime with her, as she made the grim discovery.
"She banged the door open, and she screamed," he said. "My youngest son went running to her and the phone just fell to the ground like a bad camera."
The little boy was asleep at the time of the shooting and remained home for two days, not knowing the fate of his mother or brother.
"His mom was violently taken away from him. He has to grow up with that," Muhammad said.
The father said Little Atif was a gentle giant with a knack for technology.
"He was a budding engineer. The computer I got out of his room, he built from scratch," Muhammad said.
The 15-year-old loved video games and skateboarding.
"He wasn't just my S-O-N. He was me S-U-N," Muhammad said.
He said his wife, Mary, was his best friend.
"Mary was the sweetest woman you could ever imagine meeting. She made everybody comfortable. It didn't matter if you were from Timbuktu or Spain," he said of his wife, who was an avid makeup enthusiast.
"She was a force. She managed high-end makeup counters. Chanel, Este Lauder, and Tarte," he remembered.
What's left of the large family, is now closer than ever because of an unimaginable tragedy that Muhammad said still feels unreal.
"Hold your family close. Tell your family you love them," he said.
Muhammad said he's working on getting his children counseling and needs help doing so.
To assist the family, click here.
Police arrested the suspect, William Jerome Adams last week.
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