More than $80,000 has been raised for the family of a 16-year-old Atlanta boy who tragically died while he was trying to save a group of younger children from drowning. According to FOX 5 Atlanta, the tragic incident occurred while Bryce Brooks was on a family trip in Florida.
He was said to be with family friends when they spotted four younger children in distress in the Gulf of Mexico. Though they did not know the children, the deceased teen, and two other people dived into the ocean to save them.
“Our children witnessed four other kids who they did not know being pulled by the current further out to the sea,” Bryce’s father, Shivy Brooks, said. “Our boys sprung into action.”
During their attempt to save the children, Bryce got pulled under the water. Another close family friend who went into the water to try and save Bryce also tragically got pulled under.
“At that time of being selfless, our son Bryce … while being pulled by currents himself … literally called for help, but not for himself,” Shivy said. “He was calling for help for the little kids he was looking out for.”
Although the family said they were proud that Bryce and the other family friend did not hesitate to go into the water, they said their deaths have left them shaken.
“Our family is devastated. Our community is devastated,” Shivy said. “Our baby should be coming home from school – from this building – right now.”
Bryce was an honor roll student who attended Atlanta’s Maynard Jackson High School. His family said he was part of a fashion club in the school, adding that he enjoyed making music.
“We’re never gonna get to see Bryce grow up to be the full man that he was going to be,” the teen’s mother, Crystal, said. “But, we know that he stepped into his manhood to save these children, and that makes me proud. It doesn’t take away an ounce of pain, but it makes me proud of our son.”
Despite their loss, the family told FOX 5 Atlanta that they hoped others would be inspired by the story – particularly during a period where youth violence in the city is constantly being reported.
“Let it be amplified that Atlanta-developed kids would give up their lives for other kids,” Shivy said before his wife added, “that they didn’t even know.”
The GoFundMe was set up for the family to help raise funds for the funeral and other expenses.