INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Witnesses say a teen drowned while trying to save a child struggling in the pool. It happened at the Villas Oak Brook Condominiums on the city’s northwest side Sunday evening. The Marion County Coroner’s Office identified the boy as 13-year-old Ameon Sow.
The pool was empty when 24-Hour News 8 stopped by Monday. That emptiness matches the mood in the neighborhood.
“I don’t know how to express my feelings, but kind of almost got me crying a little bit,” said 14-year-old Rashid Alguzi.
It hasn’t even been a day, but Alguzi already misses his friend. “He was a really good person, had a really good personality.”
It was that personality that not only made Sow a hero, but also a victim. Witnesses say when a child started to drown, Sow jumped into action, rescuing the boy. Will George heard the commotion from the parking lot.
“There was three of them, but one was under water and the other two were just sitting there screaming for help,” he said.
The gate was locked, so George jumped the fence. He says Sow was at the deep end – seven feet under. George dove in head first.
“When I dived in, I dived in. But he was all the way at the bottom. We was able to pull him and then the strings, so we could wrap the strings around his body to pull him up,” he said.
People on the scene performed CPR, but it was too late. Sow lost his life while saving a life.
“I just kept thinking how brave he was to do that. I’m a parent. But I’d also be proud if my son died trying to save somebody else’s life,” said Monica Gueye, who lives in the neighborhood.
Parents like Gueye are now using this as a tragic reminder of the potential dangers associated with swimming pools. “I’ll be watching my older kids more,” she said. “Since he was 13, it can happen at any age. It doesn’t matter how old your children are.”
Unfortunately, the reminder comes too late for Sow.
“He will be missed,” Alguzi simply said.
Witnesses say there were no parents or adults at the pool, which has signs posted warning there is no life guard and children should be accompanied by an adult.