CHARLOTTE, N.C. – “(I) came back out and said they were looking for someone because they needed to tell them their sister had just drowned,” says north Charlotte resident Keyna Ricks. She happened to be leaving the gym Thursday night when soaking wet kids ran past her and said they needed help. Ricks says, “We asked where was the child, and they said down at the creek.”
Girl Who Nearly Drowned Still in Intensive Care
Eleven-year old Randez Brown lost his life trying to save his seven-year-old sister Shamiyah Brown. The two children and some others were playing in a creek Thursday night, in a cement culvert that opens up into a pond in south Charlotte. It’s near the Southside Homes community off South Tryon Street.
South Charlotte resident Michelle Johnson says, “It’s really dangerous, it ain’t no grown folks back here to watch these kids around the park area.”
Friday, friends and neighbors showed up to pay their respects, staring over the fence into the now calm water below. A small memorial started to grow. South Charlotte resident Kenquetta Watters has known the family for years. She calls the children “good kids who loved to play outside.” Watters says, “I know it has to be hard to have, you know, the brother jump in and save the sister, and he lost his life. It’s very tragic.”
Randez was a fifth grader at Sedgefield Elementary School. Shamiya is a second grader at the same school. The school offered no other information.
Back at scene of Thursday’s tragedy, crews were out fixing the fence that was cut to make way for rescue crews trying to get to the kids. The drowning sparked new fear in parents that their kids may also be drawn to this dangerous area. Johnson says, “It coulda been one of my kids down here.” Watters adds, “I’m scared it may happen to one of my kids.”
The kids live with their grandmother. She also received medical treatment Thursday night after getting sick when she heard what happened.