FORT WORTH (CBS DFW) – Malik Cisse had aspirations of becoming a professional soccer player, but it was an end-of-season picnic at Gateway Park in Fort Worth, where the 17-year-old’s life was tragically cut short.
Cisse drowned after jumping into the river.
The Carter-Riverside High School soccer teams were having a cookout at the park Saturday and several athletes were presented with awards after a quick pick-up soccer game.
“The coaches began to police the area and heard some commotion around the river and found that one of their students had jumped into the river and hadn’t come back up,” said Carol Jones, Public Information officer for the Fort Worth Fire Department.
A swift water rescue team found the victim in 25 feet of water. He had been submerged for more than 30 minutes, according to Jones.
The victim was recovered and paramedics performed CPR. Cisse was transported to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, where he was later pronounced dead.
Sunday, family were upset, saying they were not notified that Cisse had been taken to the hospital until hours after it happened.
Family members also went to the wrong hospital first, because they weren’t told which hospital Cisse had been taken to.
“It looked like something didn’t go right, but for now we are still asking questions,” said Robert Bongo, the victim’s uncle. “We want to know more about what happened.”
No one, they said, has offered any answers.
Cisse was the only child of a school teacher mother and a university professor father.
In 2005, when Cisse was 10, he and his mother came to America from Togo, Africa in search of a better life.
“It was a tough decision to separate him from his daddy because we wanted a good education for him,” Bongo said. “I’m asking myself, was it a good decision?”
Friends say Cisse was funny and outgoing and had a lot of friends.
Now the dreams he had, to study computer science in college, and play pro soccer, will never be realized.
“He even applied already for a scholarship at some universities that contacted him already,” Bongo said. “Now everything is gone. It’s not easy.”
Repeated calls to Fort Worth ISD for comment were not returned.
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