An 11-year-old boy who saved his friend’s life before plunging into icy water died Tuesday.
Anthony Perez walked about 50 feet on ice covering Forest Park in Queens Tuesday afternoon, the New York City Fire Department Deputy Chief George Healy said in a statement.
When the ice on top of Strack Pond broke, Anthony pushed a friend who was with him to safety before he sank under the cold water, NBC New York reports. His friend ran away to find help, The New York Times reports.
“Members had to physically, with their hands, break through the ice and chop the ice so they could get to the area that they knew the child would most likely be in,” Healy said. “They had to go underneath to get the child.”
Anthony, who was underwater for several minutes, was found in critical condition and transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“I’m gonna call him a hero,” neighbor Carmen Rivera told NBC New York. “He’s a hero.”