A hero father-of-four has died after saving two of his sons from an electroc shock incident at a shopping mall on Sunday.
Nate Davenport, a US Navy veteran who served in the Iraq War, was electrocuted in a fountain at the Harbourside Place shopping center in Florida and later died from his injuries. Four others were injured in the incident.
Callers said that there was a juvenile in the fountain who reportedly looked in distress, now believed to be one of Mr Davenport’s sons.
Authorities found multiple people who possibly went into the fountain to help the panicking child and had allegedly received electrical shocks while in the water.
Mr Davenport’s mother, Mary Davenport described the incident on Sunday, telling WPBF that her son headed for the fountain after hearing his children screaming, “We’re getting shocked — we’re getting shocked.”
“So he rushed in to save them,” she said. But the father-of-four was shocked during the rescue, along with other bystanders.
“He took a hit for his kids. We had 45 years with him. God blessed us with him. He’s an amazing man,” she added. “He’s loyal. He’s a good father. He’s a great husband. He loves Jesus. And yeah, he gave his life for his kids.”
“And we obviously know that he did exactly what we would expect him to do,” Mr Davenport’s brother-in-law, Mike Bishop, added. “And you know what any father would do, hopefully, but him, especially just his character, that’s what he was.”
While eight people were assessed in total, five people had to be transported to hospital after the horrific incident, including Mr Davenport’s 8-year-old and 11-year-old sons, as well as another child and an adult.
Mr Davenport was also transported to hospital, where he regained consciousness but later died. His wife, parents and children were unable to say goodbye, according to reports.
Friends and colleagues of the 45-year-old paid tribute to him following news of his death. “Everything Nate did was to try and make his family better. He was just such a good person. He was like a brother to everybody,” Scott Gorman, a longtime friend, told The Palm Beach Post.
Harbourside Place, a mall in Jupiter, Florida, has a large fountain that doubles as an amphitheatre on the edge of its complex.
Police have launched an investigation into how the incident happened. Florida Power and Light (FPL) shut off the power at the fountain to assist authorities in their investigation.
Representatives from Harbourside Place said that the fountain has “No Climbing” written on the edge of the fountain to forewarn that the area is restricted.
"Our focus is on the people involved and their families. We ask the community to join us in praying for them," the shopping mall said in a statement to WPBF-TV.
FPL said in a statement to Fox35 that they are aware of the “serious incident” that occurred at the mall on Sunday.
“Our crews responded quickly to ensure the site was safe for first responders to access the area,” they said. “
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those involved."
The Independent has contacted Harbourside Place and FPL for further comment.