High School Freshman Dies in Lake Michigan Drowning: 'A Terrible Accident'

"Water is a force to be reckoned with," dad Kumasi Mack said, adding, "it's dangerous"

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K'Mari Mack, 14.

A 14-year-old Indiana boy is being mourned after he drowned at Lake Michigan over the Labor Day weekend.

Officers were dispatched to Jeorse Park Beach around 4:30 p.m. Monday after the boy went missing in the water, the East Chicago Police Department said in a statement on Facebook.

The responding officers were directed to the walking pier at the beach, police said. Witnesses told officers that the "teen jumped off the rocks into the water after being asked not to do so by Marina employees," officials said.

Witnesses added that the teen "went under" and "struggled to get out," per the statement. His friends attempted to help him, but they were unsuccessful.

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"The Lake County Sheriff Department Dive Team was notified and the teen was recovered from the water unconscious and unresponsive," police said. "It's unknown at this time how long the teen was underwater."

He was rushed to St. Catherine Hospital in critical condition but later died, the Lake County Coroner's Office told PEOPLE in a statement.

The victim was identified as K'Mari Mack by the coroner's office, and his death was ruled an accident caused by "asphyxia due to drowning."

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KMari, who just began his high school freshman year and was eager to join the school track team, was a mentor to the younger children in the East Chicago Public Library's after-school program, according to NBC affiliate WMAQ-TV and ABC affiliate WLS-TV.

Kumasi Mack, K'Mari's father, told WMAQ-TV that his son was as a "good, caring, fun-loving person."

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Kumasi added that his son visited the library nearly every day and acted like a "big brother" to the kids in the program.

"It’s just a terrible accident," the library's Mary Schones told WMAQ-TV. "My heart goes out to his family."

The library posted on Facebook a tribute to K'Mari, saying he was "best known for his outgoing personality, charisma and positive energy."

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"He will be deeply missed by the entire library staff," the post continued.

WMAQ-TV reported that the library is now considering having a water safety class for children next year in tribute to K'Mari.

During a deadly weekend at Lake Michigan, K'Mari was at least one of six drowning victims, according to the stations.

"Just be wary of water," Kumasi told WLS-TV. "Water is a force to be reckoned with. It's dangerous."

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