Alex Harris passed away on July 23 in Holt County, Missouri, moments after saving his brother Asher from drowning, who had become stuck in a strong current and was battling to stay afloat when his older brother rushed to his rescue.
The following day, Alex was pulled out of the river and pronounced dead at the scene.
“I heard Alex yelling for help and my wife and I took off running,” the boys’ father, Tyson Harris, told TODAY. “The water was moving so fast. I’d never seen anything like it before.”
“Alex held Asher up until his mom got there and then he went down,” Harris said.
“I watched his hands let go and he sank. I knew his exhaustion he was feeling,” Alex’s grieving mother, Nikki, explained. “I tried so hard to get to him faster.”
“If it hadn’t of been for him keeping him up until his mother got there, they would both be gone,” his father said on Facebook. “I love you son and I wish every second I could take your place. You are a hero, son.”
“If he had to do that over 100 times, he’d do the same thing every time. He was not leaving Asher.”
Harris explained that Alex and Asher shared a unique connection despite the fact that there was a 14-year age gap between the two of them.
A few days before Alex died, he was caught on the family’s security camera comforting his brother after Asher had fallen from his bike and scraped his knees.
“We have video of Alex carrying Asher in his arms,” their father added.
The day after Alex passed away, a candlelight vigil was organized in his honor at South Holt High School, where he had just graduated from the month before in June.
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