Police identify teen who died after Atlanta pool party
ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Parents of a teen who is suspected of drowning at a Memorial Day pool party are asking for answers as to why he got into the pool.
Fulton County officials have identified the 19-year-old as Shomari Billings, a 2018 Honor graduate from North Atlanta High School who was currently attending Georgia Southern University.
“My baby couldn’t swim and what happened on that day, I do not know. I don’t know why my baby got in that water this time, but he got in the water and he is no longer with us today. I am not sure if he got in the pool on his own or if he was coerced,” a tearful Shelly Billings remarked
Officers were called out to the pool in The 500 at Northside apartment complex on the 500 block of Northside Circle NW about 7:50 p.m. for that noise complaint due to a large party, according to police. Officers said they noticed a teenager in the water.
Billings was pulled out and CPR was administered, police said. He was rushed to a hospital, where he later died. Police think the teen died as a result of drowning, but an autopsy will need to be performed for an official cause of death.
Police said the group causing the disturbance had left the scene before the party was shut down and no arrests or citations were made.
Tuesday, the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office identified the victim as Shomari Billings of Atlanta. Billings graduated from North Atlanta High School in 2018 and was a student at Georgia Southern University.
The apartment complex sent the following statement to residents Monday night:
"You may have heard about a tragic event at the pool this weekend. Someone held an unauthorized event at the pool. The news media is reporting that, tragically, a young person drowned. Our hearts go out to his friends and family. We would like to take a few moments to reinforce some critical points.
"First, be aware that drowning does not look like you might expect. The Red Cross says that people often slip under the water or even appear to be swimming but can be in distress. It is important for everyone to keep an eye out for others in the water especially when no lifeguard is on duty.
"We are cooperating fully with law enforcement in their search for who is responsible. Also – in addition to the legal aspects, we must also reinforce that this unauthorized event broke a number of pool rules – including those which forbid alcohol use. Also, the pool is for the use of residents only. Any residents responsible for planning or promoting this event have violated the terms of their lease and will have their lease terminated."
One of the people who organized the party told FOX 5’s Aungelique Proctor that organizers sat down with apartment staffers five weeks ago to plan the celebration. The organizer also said his group hired four security guards. He disputed the apartments statement that the party was unauthorized.
Atlanta Police are investigating. The Fulton County Medical Examiner has not yet ruled the manner or cause of death.
Family and friends held a vigil Tuesday night for the man.