A parent noticed that the pair had left home and called police after discovering one of their shoes floating in Foot Lake near the entrance to the Kandiyohi County fairgrounds about 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, police said in a statement.
Rescuers found the pair around 4 hours later. Emergency medical personnel tried to revive the boys but ultimately were unsuccessful.
Ahmed Hashi’s mother told KARE that she planned to get her son swimming lessons, adding she did not know why the boys had visited to the lake.
Authorities say there is no indication of neglect or foul play.
Shamar Walters is a reporter for NBC News' Social Newsgathering team and is based in New York City.