1 child dead, another in hospital after near-drowning in Charlot - | WBTV Charlotte

1 child dead, another in hospital after near-drowning in Charlotte creek

Randez Brown, 11 Randez Brown, 11

Two children, a brother and sister, were rushed to Carolinas Medical Center Thursday evening after being pulled from a creek in southwest Charlotte.

The boy, 11-year-old Randez Brown, died on Friday morning.

"He was a loving child." Great Aunt Merry Black said.

A third person was also taken to the hospital, but officials say it was not related to the near-drowning.

The call came out just before 8 p.m. from Griffith Street, which is off of S. Tryon Street between Remount and Clanton Roads.

Family members said the two children, a seven-year-old girl and her 11-year-old brother, went into the creek, which runs behind Marie G. Davis School.

Officers say a group of children apparently jumped a fence and went to the creek to play.

Police believe the kids may have misjudged the depth of the water when the tunnel they were in ended.

It is believed Randez jumped in to save his sister, Shamiya.

"He was scared of water," After School Counselor Lauren Stines said. "Very scared of water and so to be in there to save his sister - I mean there is not a more beautiful story than that - to give one's live to save someone else."

Stines says Randez came to the after school program at Sedgefield Elementary on Mondays. She saw him this past Monday. He wanted to pray.

"I said Randez not this week," Stines said. "Your brother is going to pray and he stood beside his brother while he did it and I told Randez he was going to be a preacher one day. And he just took so much pride in that when I said that."

The counselor believes even in death the 5th grader is teaching a lesson.

"He's teaching us all what it means to be faithful to your family," Stines said. "What it means to go through the ups and downs of life. What it means to keep going."

Some believe something should be done to block the tunnel the kids were playing in to help prevent anymore deaths.

"There's a problem there," Relative Dwight Small said. "And you don't have to be a Yale grad to figure out something needs to be done. Somebody needs to step up to make sure this incident doesn't happen again."

The family pastor says the relatives are now preparing the 5th grader's funeral while they are staying positive for Shamiya. The pastor says the little girl is in critical condition.

"The good thing is," Pastor Barrington Johnson said. "We can see some movement in her limbs, but she needs a lot of prayer right now."

Johnson says there are no perfect words to tell the family in mourning.

"We encourage them about the love of God," the pastor said. "and we try to show that same love from ourselves."

Friday there were about 10 counselors at Sedgefield Elementary. They will probably return on Monday.

In the meantime the family has no insurance and they need help burying Randez.

If you would like to help, contact One Way Baptist Church at 980-216-4650. 

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