Family seeks answers after St. Louis Park student, 12, drowns - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Family seeks answers after student drowns at St. Louis Park school

Posted: Updated:
Abdullahi Charif, 12 Abdullahi Charif, 12
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (KMSP) -

The family of a 7th-grade boy who was pulled from a swimming pool at St. Louis Park Middle School is demanding to know how it came to be that 12-year-old Abdullahi Charif died in gym class.

"We're all grieving and we just buried the son," Ali Warsame, the boy's father, told Fox 9 News.

On a frigid Sunday afternoon, a heartbroken family surrounded by a grieving community came together to say goodbye to Charif.

"I'm a little emotional, but I really appreciate the Somali community supporting us," Warsame said.

Beyond the grief and pain, some of the boy's relatives are also struggling to come to terms with their anger as they wait for answers.

"Imagine sending your son to school and the next minute, you are being told he died at 12 years old," Asha Ahmed, Charif's aunt, explained.

Officials in St. Louis Park haven't said much since Charif was pulled from the water on Thursday morning.

"We don't know what happened," Omar Jamal admitted. "We don't know what to tell you. The father took his kid to school, healthy and fine. The next thing he knows, he is brain dead in the hospital. What happened? We don't know."

The school has not specified how many children were in the class or how many teachers were supervising, but family members say Charif did not know how to swim.

"It's a real tragedy," said John Foss, CEO of Foss Swim School.

According to Foss, there are no mandated swimmer-to-teacher or lifeguard ratios.

"There's not as many rules as you might think," he admitted.

Foss also stressed that drowning is a silent, fast event that can be difficult to spot.

"Basically, they go under the water, they look up, all the air is out, and then they usually can't get back to the surface," Foss said. "When they do, they aren't yelling and screaming because they have no air in their lungs."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • New photos, bigger reward: 'We must find Ty Hoffman'

    New photos, bigger reward: 'We must find Ty Hoffman'

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 3:07 PM EDT2014-08-20 19:07:58 GMT
    Crime Stoppers and the Council on Crime and Justice are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction for the murder of Kelly Phillips in Arden Hills. The Ramsey County sheriff's office has identified Ty Hoffman as the suspect.
    Crime Stoppers and the Council on Crime and Justice are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction for the murder of Kelly Phillips in Arden Hills. The Ramsey County sheriff's office has identified Ty Hoffman as the suspect.
  • 16-year-old paralyzed in ATV crash saved girlfriend

    16-year-old paralyzed in ATV crash saved girlfriend

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 4:13 PM EDT2014-08-19 20:13:47 GMT
    His life may never be the same, but the 16-year-old running back from Hinckley High School was able to get his girlfriend to safety when the unthinkable happened while the two were riding his four-wheeler.
    His life may never be the same, but the 16-year-old running back from Hinckley High School was able to get his girlfriend to safety when the unthinkable happened while the two were riding his four-wheeler.
  • Minnesota mom charged for giving son cannabis oil early

    Minnesota mom charged for giving son cannabis oil early

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:28 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:28:19 GMT
    After years of watching her son suffer with the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, Angela Brown turned to medical marijuana as a last resort. It worked, but the decision has left her facing criminal charges.
    After years of watching her son suffer with the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, Angela Brown turned to medical marijuana as a last resort. It worked, but the decision has left her facing criminal charges.
Powered by WorldNow
Untitled

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices