DENVER (KDVR) – Family and friends of 13-year-old Darryl Blackmon are heartbroken after the teen was pulled from a pool at an Embassy Suites in Phoenix on Saturday. Early Sunday morning, the teen’s family let friends know Blackmon had passed away.
“We talked to his mom this morning, she said his heart stopped at 1:50 a.m. this morning,” Elizabeth Stonebraker, a friend of the family and mother of another player on the team said.
Multiple parents on the team told FOX31 the Junior Buffs team had won their Saturday game 28 to 0 before returning to their hotel to celebrate.
“All the parents went back to the hotel where we were staying and allowed the boys to go swimming,” Justin Sanchez, who has two sons on the team, said.
Just minutes after returning to the hotel, Sanchez said he heard his oldest son, Joey Guerrero, who was in Arizona to watch his younger brothers play, in distress downstairs at the hotel pool.
“He was yelling, calling for 911, screaming for help and I knew that was my son,” Sanchez said.
Guerrero said he was hanging out at the pool with some of the players when two little girls closer to the deep end pointed out Blackmon lifeless below the water.
“There was no movement and that’s when I jumped in and pulled him to the top and swam to the edge and two of my friends helped pull him out,” Guerrero said.
A former lifeguard at Ashland Recreation Center in Denver, Guerrero started performing CPR. He said he attempted the life-saving measure for over two and a half minutes before Sanchez got downstairs and relieved him.
“Every second mattered. When I got him he didn’t have a pulse, when I touched him he didn’t have a pulse,” Sanchez said.
Stonebraker said EMS arrived and took Blackmon to the local Children’s Hospital in Phoenix where he was sedated before remaining unconscious and impacted by seizures for multiple days.
“He was only 13 years old. He has a whole life ahead of him,” Guerrero said.
Tragic news spread early Tuesday morning of Blackmon’s untimely passing. Stonebraker told FOX31 he is survived by his parents and multiple siblings.
If you’d like to help, you can contribute to their link to their GoFundMe here.
Following the autopsy, Blackmon’s family is trying to bring their son home for proper services.