Community mourns 7-year-old boy killed in Durham pool accident

DURHAM (WTVD) -- Durham police are trying to figure out what happened just before the death of a 7-year-old boy at a local pool.

Police say Jamarcus Graham, of Goldsboro, was found Saturday floating face down in the pool at the Brightleaf Community Center.

Graham was rushed to Duke University Medical Center but passed away Sunday morning.

Youlonda Wynn, the principal of Brogden Primary School in Wayne County, told ABC11 the second grader had just finished the school year a few days before visiting Durham.

"He was just a sweet boy with a sweet smile," Wynn said.

Police say Graham was at the pool with a guardian and was attending a pool party when the accident happened.

His mother and school staff are still reeling from the loss.

"Our hearts are very heavy. So we've just reached out to his mom to let her know that we are here," Wynn said.

Durham police are saying very little about the circumstances surrounding Graham's apparent drowning death.

While state law does not require public pools to have lifeguards, Durham officials say that is the safest option.

If there is no lifeguard, parents are urged to closely supervise children at the pool. Look for a sign with posted rules and working safety equipment in the event of an emergency. Use Coast Guard approved flotation devices instead of noodles or inflatable arms. Those are for fun, not safety, experts say.

Whether that would have saved Graham's life is unclear. Police are still investigating the incident while his school and family mourn his loss.

"It will be very hard not seeing him come back and to give him that hug next year as he moves on. He was a very hardworking little boy, very sweet little boy," said Debbie Parrott, Graham's teacher.

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