Teenager dies after going into St. Croix River to help struggling swimmer

A 17-year-old boy who was pulled from the St. Croix River Thursday evening has died, officials said. 

Suleiman Ibrahim Abda Garado, of Stillwater, had gone into the river to help a teenager who was struggling to swim, when he went under the water and didn't resurface, the Washington County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Friday afternoon.

Witnesses had called 911 at about 5:40 p.m. Thursday to report a teenager was drowning near Riviera Avenue South in Lake St. Croix Beach, the sheriff's office said. The Washington County rescue dive team responded minutes later, finding Suleiman at 6:30 p.m. — about 40 minutes after he was last seen.

"According to reports, a group of friends had gathered near the river when, at some point, one of them began to struggle in the water," a news release said. "Suleiman, along with several others, attempted to help the struggling teen and bring him to safety. The first teen made it out of the water, but Suleiman never resurfaced."

Authorities pulled Suleiman from the water and began lifesaving efforts before taking him to the hospital, where he died early Friday morning, officials said. 

"The death of this young man is a devastating tragedy, and I extend my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones," Sheriff Dan Starry said in a statement. "I’m grateful for the quick response of the Washington County rescue dive team and their ability to recover Suleiman and bring peace to his family."

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner is investigating Suleiman's official cause of death.