Kevin Poole’s mother heralds him a hero; search continues for 8-year-old missing in river
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The family of Kevin Poole, one of two teenagers who drowned in the Mississippi River nearly three weeks ago, will lay their loved one to rest on Saturday (May 14).
Pictures, flowers, and stuffed animals now decorate a memorial on the Algiers riverfront near where Poole jumped in after Brandy and Ally Wilson.
“He risked it all for them, I miss my baby,” said Poole mother, Nikki Azeez.
Azeez calls her son a hero for trying to save the lives of his friends.
Though the crowds have disappeared from the levee, the Cajun Navy and Harbor Police continue to search for 8-year-old Ally.
“Even though my kids swim, they didn’t know. It looks deceiving,” said Azeez.
Some residents have taken it upon themselves to try and make the riverfront safer in an effort Poole’s mother would like to see expanded.
“I think there should be some kind of signage or barriers. I think water training should be part of the curriculum,” said Azeez. She says her son was a good swimmer, but was caught off guard by the treacherous river as he tried to save his friends. Her youngest son, who was also there, ran for help.
“I had no idea that part of the river was that deep and there was a sinkhole,” Azeez said.
Azeez, who moved here from Dallas two years ago, says she’s grateful for the support she’s received from the community, including a portrait of her son presented to her by New Orleans artist Rodney King.
“For him to jump in to try and save his girlfriend, that means she did a great job for that young man. They don’t raise them like that anymore,” said King.
Poole leaves behind a large family, including twin sisters Camille and Madeline, who called him a great brother who always made them laugh.
They hope something is done to warn others of the river’s dangers to save lives in the future.
Poole’s jazz funeral will be held Saturday at Greater Morning Star Baptist Church in Algiers beginning at noon.
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