The grandmother of 5-month-old twins who were murdered in her daughter's arms Friday in Oceanway, Fla., told First Coast News that "we all have our free agency. We have our choices, and we make the choices and I don't think that's God's role in making choices. But God's hands was in every bit of this."
Grandmother Melissa Bateh spoke at the television station yesterday on behalf of her daughter, Megan Hiatt, who was the only survivor of a murder-suicide act allegedly attributed to Gawain Wilson, Megan's boyfriend. The incident is being referenced as a domestic violence case.
The 22-year-old mother reportedly was forced to hold her twins, Hayden Rose, and Kayden Reese Hiatt, while Wilson allegedly shot them, according to details Hiatt relayed to her mother, Bateh. "He wanted to destroy her world. He wanted her to watch it be destroyed," Bateh said yesterday.
Five bullets also struck Hiatt. Her father, Travis Hiatt, 49, also was killed during the incident.
Local media reports indicated Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Director Mike Bruno said police got a call of shots fired just before 4 p.m. Friday and arrived to find five victims with gunshot wounds. Four were confirmed dead at the scene and the fifth, Megan, was taken to a hospital. Neighbors were quoted as indicating "a Navy family" had moved into the home recently.
"He (God) gave Megan the strength to drag her body across the room. She had to crawl through her babies' blood, then through the shooter's blood, and to her dad to hear his last words," stated Bateh to First Coast News. "He wanted to tell her brother that he was the best son ever and he loved him. That was God's hand."
"God told neighbors to hear the shooting and call. God's hand was holding Megan's until medical help got there. God helped me hold the steering wheel," Bateh stated in the same interview.
Bateh said they are coping through the grace of God. "Those precious little ones are just angels, so special they didn't have to live very long on this Earth."
Hiatt is still recovering in UF Health, a Jacksonville hospital. A GoFundMe account was established to help pay for the family's funerals and hospital expenses. Nearly $13,000 has been contributed over the past three days.
Patty Havoc posted the following on the funding site: "My heart goes out to you in this unimaginably difficult time. Prayers. Stay strong!"
On Bateh's Facebook page, yesterday she posted the following words of encouragement and appreciation: "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you family for all your support right now. Thank you for helping with the all the tasks that have to be done. Thank you church family. Without you sustaining us (feeding us and the million other things) we would not be able to keep moving forward. Thank you friends. We see your loving messages. We feel your prayers. Thank you to those people we have never met who are praying for us. Thank you all who have donated to the gofundme account. Above all thank you to a loving Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ, our atoning Savior. Because of them, we know, Families can be together Forever!"
Bateh's Facebook friend, Britton Williams Humphries, responded back: "Your strength is so amazing to me. I am so astonished at the good you have found in God's hand through everything. You are such an inspiration of courage and hope."
Domestic Violence Crime Watch posted the following on Nov. 15 about this murder-suicide case: "A pickup truck with boxes in the bed was seen backed into the driveway of the home Friday, but police would not speculate when asked if Megan was moving out. However, there is evidence that Wilson had issues with domestic violence."