CHARLOTTE - A candlelight vigil was held Monday evening for an 11-year-old boy who died after trying to save his sister after she fell into a creek.
Stephanie Black, the children’s mother, spoke to Eyewitness News about the vigil.
“I thought it was awesome and I appreciate all the support that everybody has for my son,” Black said.
Channel 9 has learned more about tense moments before Randez and Samiyah Brown were pulled from a river behind Marie G. Davis Middle School Thursday night.
“We were close friends, we played basketball on the same team twice,” said Octavion McClellen, a close friend of the siblings who was with them that night.
Octavion said he and Randez were both fifth-graders at Sedgefield Elementary School. On Friday, witnesses said Randez, his sister Samiyah and about four other children crawled through a fence to play in a creek behind the middle school.
Samiyah fell into the water and Randez jumped in to help her.
Octavion said he heard the children screaming and ran to get help.
“When I went down there I saw Samiyah hanging on a rock, but she passed out and Randez was still under water so I jumped in and I was feeling around and I felt Randez,” Octavion said.
CHOPPER 9 IMAGES: Scene where 11-year-old died trying to save sister
Octavion said he tried to pull his friend out of the water but could not get him out completely. Soon emergency workers arrived to help.
“I was figuring, he’s too young to die, him and his little sister,” said Octavion.
As Samiyah remains in critical condition, Octavion said his school is doing what it can to remember Randez.
“I made a poster at my school that said (in) memory of Randez and the people at our school made cards and hung it up on a poster,” Octavion said.
Octavion said his school’s basketball team will play its first game since Randez’s death on Monday.
Family members said Samiyah had an MRI performed earlier Monday and they are praying that she will pull through OK.
“That's good that she's getting better I feel sad for her and her family that they had to go through that,” said Ron Jackson, a friend.
Channel 9 will talk to family and friends about how they remember him on Eyewitness News at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Monday would have been Randez’s 12th birthday.
HOW TO HELP:
Randez brown Trust fund foundation: http://www.gofundme.com/7rqyrw
The Brown family needs help with funeral costs. They do not have insurance.
Their church is collecting donations on the family’s behalf.
Send donations to:
One Way Baptist Church
Pastor Barrington Johnson
3501 Tuckaseegee Road
Charlotte, N.C. 28208