Pastor Fatally Stabbed in Miami-Dade Church, Suspect Apprehended

Pastor Fatally Stabbed in Miami-Dade Church, Suspect Apprehended

A man was detained over the weekend after authorities claim he fatally stabbed a pastor from South Florida inside a Miami-Dade County church with a knife.

James Walter Dawkins, 44, of Miami, is charged with one count of first-degree murder, according to jail records.

Following allegations of a stabbing, Miami-Dade police and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue workers were sent to Westview Baptist Church, situated at 13301 NW 24th Ave., at approximately 5:31 p.m. on Saturday, according to the authorities.

Officers found the victim, named as 41-year-old Antwane Dwayne Lenoir, unconscious and suffering from stab wounds to his neck when they arrived. At the scene, he was declared deceased.

Authorities verified that Lenoir, a pastor at the church and dressed in full armed security guard uniform, had called a locksmith to replace a few of the doors on the property before to the event.

Dawkins, a musician consecrated by Lenoir, was allowed to live in the church despite being homeless, according to the police.

After a verbal disagreement between the two men, according to the police, Dawkins repeatedly stabbed the victim without provocation and then fled the scene on foot, according to his arrest record.

After Lenoir’s autopsy on Sunday, a Miami-Dade Associate Medical Examiner confirmed that the cause of his death was “sharp force injuries and (was) classified as a homicide,” as per the investigators’ findings.

Dawkins was found by Miami-Dade police on Sunday just after 2:00 p.m. in the vicinity of Northwest 62nd Street and Northwest 27th Avenue. He was then taken to the department’s headquarters to be questioned, according to the police report.

Lenoir was like a brother to Pastor Gaston Smith, who described the tragedy as “beyond explanation.”

“I can’t even imagine his wife of 20 years. I can’t imagine these four lovely children who all loved their dad beyond life,” Smith stated. “This congregation loved their pastor.”

Detectives said that Dawkins gave a statement about his role in the incident after being handed his Miranda rights. Nevertheless, it was discovered that the statement made was at odds with the information discovered throughout the inquiry.

“Something must have taken place, mentally, to make this happen,” Smith stated. “We have lost a dynamic pastor, a dynamic leader, an amazing father (and a) amazing community activist. He was that guy.”

Dawkins is being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center without bond as of Monday. At this point, it’s unclear why the man was stabbed.