Filled with heartache and anger, the father of a 13-year-old boy who nearly drowned at a Riverside County school pool is demanding answers about how teen lifeguards and other supervisors handled the situation.
Rodriquez Pierce, father of seventh grader Alex Pierce, questioned the actions of high school lifeguards, including why the boy wasn't immediately given CPR, after witnesses said his son had been submerged underwater for about 90 seconds.
"I don't know their policy as far as why they use student lifeguards, but I know it needs to be reviewed," Rodriquez Pierce said.
On June 3, Alex was attending an end-of-the-year school party at the Vista Murrieta High School pool, when classmates noticed his lifeless body floating underwater at the bottom of the pool.
Witnesses told NBC4 that the teen lifeguards ignored their cries for help when Alex was spotted. When two classmates brought him up, police said no one performed CPR until paramedics arrived four minutes later.
"It's just so painful that my son is lying on the ground with no help," said Rodriquez Pierce. "It's unbelievable that all these people could stand around and not do anything."
Alex Pierce is in a coma on a ventilator at Loma Linda University Medical Center and his parents hope he will eventually wake up.
"I wouldn't wish this on anyone," Rodriquez Pierce said, "It's so heartbreaking."
Police are investigating this incident for possible criminal negligence.
NBC4 reached out to the Murrieta Valley School District for information about their lifeguard certifications but a response has not yet been made available.
Those who wish to contribute to a GoFundMe to help pay for Alex's medical expenses can find the link here.