Two of the four juveniles who were pulled from Lake Michigan at Warren Dunes have died.
Emergency crews were called to the shoreline around 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 15.
The victims had been swimming in the lake.
Bystanders helped bring two to shore.
The U.S. Coast Guard helped local first responders get the others out of the water. All four were taken to the hospital.
The two juveniles who died attended St Joseph High School in South Bend. They were identified as Ahmed and Saleem Qasem. The two were brothers. Ahmed was a senior. Saleem was a sophomore.
The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and Saint Joseph High School in South Bend issued the following statement:
Official reports indicate that the students were swimming at Warren Dunes State Park with two other juveniles when they went into distress. Efforts of first responders to revive the Saint Joe students were unsuccessful. We do not have information about the other two youths.
Saint Joseph High School Principal John Kennedy ensured that support and counseling were available to students and staff at the school today, and that support will continue to be available in the future. An all-school Mass was held this morning and a Divine Mercy Chaplet was held this afternoon.
“One of our core values is Build Family,” said Principal Kennedy. “This means standing beside one another through the sorrows as well as the triumphs. We will walk through this grief together and call upon our faith to guide and strengthen us at this time. We ask for your prayers for the family, our students, faculty, and staff.”
Bishop Kevin C Rhoades has asked for prayers from the community as well. “I extend my deepest condolences and those of our diocese to the family, friends, and classmates of these students and to the whole community of Saint Joseph High School. May the Lord grant you comfort and strength in your grief at the death of these beloved young people! We pray that the Lord will grant them eternal joy and peace in His kingdom.”
With respect to the family, we will not be releasing anything further at this time.