Rosemont students, staff honour teen who died after being found unconscious in city pool
Blessing Moukoko, 14, remembered as 'full of life and kindness'
Students, staff, parents and community members gathered at École Père-Marquette Thursday afternoon to honour the memory of the 14-year-old boy who died after being found unconscious at the bottom of a city pool in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie.
Blessing Moukoko, who was in Grade 8, drowned after taking part in a swimming class last Thursday at Centre Père-Marquette, a municipal community centre across the street from the school.
He had a pulse when rushed to hospital by paramedics after he was found, but he died Wednesday.
Outside the school entrance, some students lit candles, lining them up along the stairs in honour of their classmate.
A fundraising page has also been set up to support the family. It describes Moukoko as a charming young man, who loved basketball and was "full of life and kindness."
Family wants answers
Quebec's coroner's office is investigating to determine the probable causes and circumstances surrounding Moukoko's death.
There were about 25 students in the swimming class. The gym teacher and at least one lifeguard were at the pool, an Urgences-Santé spokesperson said at the time.
A lawyer representing the Moukoko family says the handling of the situation by the teen's school has been "unacceptable."
Lawyer Jean-Pierre Ménard said the school still hasn't provided much information about what happened.
"It's totally unacceptable. We need to understand. It's impossible that no one knows," he said in an interview Thursday.
Ménard said his clients are still in shock but are coping.
"They're very courageous.…It's very tough," he said.
Alain Perron, a spokesperson for the Commission scolaire de Montréal, which oversees École Père-Marquette, said in an email the school has been in contact with the family throughout the ordeal.
With files from Kate McKenna and Simon Nakonechny