WORCESTER, Mass. (WPRI) — An officer that jumped into a Worcester pond Friday afternoon in an attempt to save a drowning teenager has died, Worcester Police Chief Steven Sargent said.
Sargent said officers were called to the Green Hill Park after receiving multiple reports of people drowning in the pond.
When the officers arrived, Sargent said they saw three teenagers in the pond struggling to stay afloat. One of those teens was reaching only his arm above the water.
In total, Sargent said five officers jumped into the water, including 38-year-old Enmanuel Familia.
The officers were able to rescue two of the swimmers, but quickly realized both Familia and the third teen, identified by Sargent only as a 14-year-old boy, had not resurfaced.
Sargent said divers were called to the scene to search for Familia and the boy. After a couple of hours, Sargent said both were found unresponsive and rushed to the hospital where they were later pronounced dead.
“The Worcester Police Department has lost a brother, a friend and a partner, and the city of Worcester has lost a hero,” Sargent said. “We will remember and honor his selfless devotion to Worcester and his ultimate sacrifice to save someone he didn’t know.”
Familia was a five-year veteran of the force and leaves behind a wife and two children, according to Sargent.
“This is a type of person that Manny was, someone who would lay down his life for someone else’s child,” Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty said.
The incident occurred just hours after two officers were ambushed and shot by a suspect in Braintree. Both officers are expected to survive, however, their K9 and the gunman were killed in the shootout.