Police say man dies from injuries after nearly drowning in Willard, Mo., pool

Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 12:55 PM CDT
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WILLARD, Mo. (KY3) - Police say a man died from his injuries after nearly drowning in an apartment’s pool in Willard.

Officers responded to the North Brooke Apartment complex on Monday. EMTs found the man with his lungs filled with water. Police say the victim is 39 years old. However, they have not identified him.

“I’m shocked,” said apartment complex resident Angela Martinez. “Nothing like that has ever happened here.”

Martinez often brings her son to this pool in her apartment complex but wasn’t there when it happened.

“It’s an eerie feeling, to be honest,” said Martinez. “But also, I’m a little happy that I wasn’t there to witness it. So because that could have been a little traumatizing.”

Police officers responded first.

“The victim was playing with one of the witnesses daughter’s in the pool. He pushed her on the pool float over to the side of the pool,” said Major Shannon Shipley with the Willard police department. “The father took her out of the pool, and then the victim remained on the pool float while everybody else was in the pool. Somebody had looked for where the victim was, and they didn’t see him. And one of the kids in the pool recognized that he was down at the bottom, and nobody was on the pool float.”

Witnesses say they pulled him out and started CPR.

“I could see the relief in their eyes when we took over, and they spent a lot of time processing,” said Major Shipley. “One of the bystanders was on the phone with 911, the 911 operator was trying to coach her through CPR, and she was just really having a hard time processing. So I went ahead, and I took the phone from her. I told her that police were on scene and that we were doing CPR.”

Major Shipley says this shows the importance for you to learn CPR.

“I think that everybody should know it because it is a life-saving technique,” said Major Shipley. “It’s, like I said, very physically taxing. If one person knows it, that’s great, but they’re going to need a break. Someone else needs to be able to jump in and help the more people that know it, the more successful the technique is.”

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