FERGUSON, Mo. – A 10-year-old died after falling into a half-empty public pool Tuesday at a Ferguson park.
The community, the victim’s family, and police officers were praying that the boy would make a full recovery and were heartbroken his life was cut short too soon.
“This is a tragic event. It’s never a good time to lose a loved one, especially this time of year — the holiday season,” Ferguson Police Chief Jason Armstrong said.
The City of Ferguson released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
“It is with a heavy heart that we are reporting that the child from the water rescue yesterday has passed away. The child passed away this morning at the children’s hospital where he was still receiving medical care. We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the family & friends on the loss of their loved one, you all are in our thoughts and prayers.”
Police have not released the boy’s name.
The incident unfolded just before 2:00 p.m. at January-Wabash Park on North Florissant Road. The boy was at the park with family members and after getting into the locked, gated pool area and accidentally fell into water that was seven-feet deep.
A witness told police the boy and his brother jumped over the fence. The 10-year-old slipped off the icy diving board and fell into the pool. A woman called 911.
Ferguson police officer Jamez Knighten and Calverton Park police officer Chris Robertson jumped into waist-deep water to pull the child to safety.
“They pulled him out from under the ice and snow and they trying to resuscitate him for 15 to 20 minutes,” said Antione West, a witness. “They kept pumping and pumping on him doing CPR. We were hoping we would see him to start moving and we did not see that before they pulled off.”
Once the child was out of the pool, officers began CPR until EMS crews arrived on the scene and transported the child to a children’s hospital.
Both officers needed assistance from the Ferguson Fire Department to get out of the pool and were transported to DePaul Hospital for treatment. Both have since been released.