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Massachusetts officer dies trying to save teen who drowned in city pond

Five officers jumped into a pond in an unsuccessful attempt to save a drowning 14-year-old boy, authorities said.
Image: Worcester Police at the scene of a drowning
Worcester Police at the scene of a drowning.WBTS

A police officer died Friday while trying to save a 14-year-old boy drowning in a pond in Worcester, Mass., authorities said.

The teenager, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead at a hospital after divers recovered his body, police Chief Steven Sargent said at a news conference.

The officer, one of five who jumped in the water, was identified as Manny Familia, 38.

"The Worcester Police Department has lost a brother, friend and a partner," Sargent said.

Officers responded to a city park pond at 1:35 p.m. Two people were brought to shore by first responders, the chief said, but officers soon realized one of their own was missing.

Nearly an hour after the first calls for help, Familia was taken out of the pond by divers, and another hour later, the 14-year-old was pulled from the water, Sargent said. Both were declared deceased at a hospital.

"This is the type of person that Manny was," Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty said at the news conference, "—someone who'd lay down his life for someone else's child."

Familia is survived by a wife and two children, he said. He served the city of Worcester, population 185,000, for five years.

Four other officers who were in the water were evaluated at a hospital, he said. One diver was treated at a hospital for minor injuries, the chief said.