What to Know
- Two boys are dead after Philadelphia police say a 15-year-old jumped into the Schuylkill River to help his 14-year-old friend who was having difficulty swimming.
- A third teen called 911 for help.
- Police recovered their bodies of Quadir Beverly and Mekhi Massaquoi several hours after the youngsters went to the river to cool off on Wednesday.
A teenager on the verge of eighth grade graduation jumped into Philadelphia's Schuylkill River to try and save his friend's life. Both boys later died in the river.
Two bodies were recovered from the Schuylkill during the search for the two teens who went missing in the water Wednesday night, Philadelphia police confirmed.
Police said three teens were near the river at Bartram's Garden at 56th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard in Southwest Philadelphia looking to cool off around 7:15 p.m. One of the teens, a 14-year-old Mekhi Massaquoi, then jumped into the water to swim, but began having trouble. Another teen, identified by family members as 15-year-old Quadir Beverly, then jumped in to rescue him while the third teen called 911.
Police began to scour the river in a search for Beverly and Massaquoi.
Police set up a staging area on the 2700 block of South 56th Street and family of the teens rushed to the scene.
Around 11 p.m., police confirmed they recovered two bodies from the Schuylkill River during the search. Overnight police confirmed the boys' bodies were identified.
“He seen his friend fall in and he thought he could swim and get him, but unfortunately, obviously, it didn’t work out that way,” Beverly’s grandmother Annette Lawrence said.
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Beverly was set to graduate from the eighth grade on Thursday, Lawrence said. He was a student at S. Weir Mitchell Elementary School.
Massaquoi was a student at William Tilden Middle School. Grief counselors will be available for students and staff at both schools.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Quadir and Mehki," Philadelphia School District spokesperson Monica Lewis said.
"We extend our heartfelt condolences to their families and their respective school communities. Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with all who knew and loved these young men in the difficult days ahead. The District has been communicating with the families to provide support and assistance."
With hot days ahead, police urged people not to swim in the Schuylkill, though the understand the urge of people to cool off.
"The Schuylkill looks like a very lazy river but it isn't, there is an definite undertow," Philadelphia Police Inspector Ray Evers said. "It's tragic."