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Report Details Moments Surrounding St. Louis Park Student’s Drowning

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A new report is giving insight into the moments before a student drowned during gym class in St. Louis Park.

In February, Abdullahi Charif, 12, was found in 9 feet of water in the school swimming pool. He later died at the hospital.

The report contains more than 200 pages detailing the moments surrounding the drowning.

After investigators spent days questioning 14 students who were in the pool, and the teacher on duty, police worked out a timeline and believe this drowning happened within a 2 – 3 minute window.

However, there were definite differences between the student recollections of that day and what the teacher told St. Louis Park police

Many of the students remember seeing Abdullahi Charif playing the game “King of the Hill” on a raft in the deep end pool.

They told investigators that he was pushed from the raft several times.

One student remembers Charif belly flopping into the deep end while the flotation device he was known to use was out of reach.

This diagram drawn by that student shows what investigators pointed out in the report.

The teacher who was sitting on the side of the pool, may not have seen Charif because the raft blocked his sight.

Meanwhile, the teacher told investigators that Charif wasn’t allowed in the deep end was in the shallow water as students got out of the pool.

One common theme from everyone questioned by police was that Charif was not a strong swimmer.

Investigators gave this case to the Hennepin County attorney who said there isn’t enough evidence to press charges and that this was just a terrible accident.

The family’s attorney said Abdullahi Charif’s drowning was not simply an accident.

He said…”the bottom line is that Abduallahi drowned because his teacher simply wasn’t paying enough attention.”

The family’s attorney said this was an entirely preventable tragedy.

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