Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

3-year-old boy found at bottom of swimming pool dies

A 3-year-old boy who slipped beneath the water of a swimming pool Tuesday at a Northwest Side apartment complex died a day later, a Northwest Fire/Rescue District spokesman said Thursday.

Marcus Johnson Jr. died about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, with his family gathered beside him at Tucson Medical Center, Capt. Adam Goldberg said.

Marcus’ condition was stabilized at Northwest Medical Center before he was transferred to TMC and put on life-support equipment, Goldberg said. Marcus died after he was taken off life support.

Goldberg gave this account:

Marcus had been at the swimming pool with his 2-year-old sister and their mother about 6 p.m. Tuesday at the complex in the 9700 block of North Thornydale Road where they lived.

Elena Puchi, 23, had diverted her attention from Marcus, who was at the steps leading to the shallow end, to adjust her daughter’s water wings.

When Puchi finished, she looked around the pool area, but could not see her son.

Thinking Marcus had wandered away from the pool, Puchi looked around the area, but not in the pool.

Becoming frantic, Puchi began screaming for her son. Other apartment residents responded, finding Marcus at the bottom of the pool, 4 feet below the water’s surface.

Neighbors called 911.

Medics at Northwest Hospital restarted Marcus’ heart.

The child’s father, Marcus Johnson Sr., returned to Tucson from a job site in Silver City, N.M., before his son died.

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