TAMPA - Seconds after Chris Bates busted into a woman’s apartment, she did the first thing that came to mind—she prayed.
In an exclusive interview with ABC Action News, the woman, who does not want to be identified said she’s certain praying was the only thing that saved her, and her 7-year-old son.
The victim said Bates threatened to rape her, as he son slept in the very next room.
"I asked him if he believed in God.”
That question sparked 30 minutes of prayer with Bates.
"I went on autopilot and did what I had to do and said what I had to, to survive."
"We read the Bible together. I offered to give it to him. He wouldn't take it, because he said he wouldn't live through the night. So, I ripped out a passage. John 3:16 for God so loved the world and I gave it to him."
She said Bates told her about attacking women and holding people at gunpoint just before showing up at her apartment.
"He was remorseful and he said ‘I'm sorry’ and he apologized. He felt remorse for what he did."
At one point, she said Bates tried to give her his gun and asked her to take his life.
I asked, "Did you get a sense he knew it was going to end like this?
The victim responded, “Ya. He said he was going to die before the night was over."
She told bates to leave and reminded him of the ripped out page of the Bible now in his pocket.
"He said he would read it. He put it in his pocket and then he left."
"God was definitely taking care of me last night and making sure me and my son were safe."
Following the chase and shootout, the victim told me she will be forever grateful that the troubled man likely died with the word of God in his pocket.
She also said, she's glad she and her son can rest tonight.
“I definitely feel relief. I'm glad he's caught. I feel safe again."
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