Boy pulled from abandoned St. Paul pool last month has died


The 7-year-old boy who was pulled from an abandoned pool in St. Paul on Memorial Day died early Thursday morning.

An update to a YouCaring page the boy's school set up said 7-year-old Sher Kpor died at 4 a.m. Thursday, with his family expressing gratitude for people's "continued support, thoughts and prayers."

Peter T. Vogt, the senior pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Maplewood, released a statement on behalf of Sher Kpor's family, who thanked the community for their support. Vogt also confirmed to BringMeTheNews the boy has died.

Officials pulled Sher Kpor and his older brother, 10-year-old Ma Kpaw, from the abandoned pool at the Princeton Place apartments on May 25.

Reports at the time said Sher Kpor climbed over the locked fence and fell into the murky, trash-filled water (pictured at left). His brother had crawled under the fence and, in attempt to save his brother, went into the water, but also couldn't get out.

In the days following the incident, Sher Kpor was listed in critical condition at the hospital, with his family saying he had a 50-50 chance of surviving. Ma Kpaw was released not long after the rescue.

On the YouCaring page, Sher Kpor is described as quiet, yet strongly committed to fairness and standing up for others.

When he began at Frost Lake Elementary he knew little English, the page continues, but quickly made solid friendships, "remarkable academic progress" and also "became an important part of the community."

The page adds he loved "soccer at recess, the iPads at reading, and – maybe more than anything – his baby sister (gazing at her face brought the most tender smile I have seen on him)."

Since the incident, the owner of the property has been working to fix the pool. The owner had planned to fill it in and turn it into a playground.

The incident raised questions about abandoned pool regulations and prompted the St. Paul Fire Department to increase pool inspections, as well as offer to drain any abandoned pools that could be a safety hazard.

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