Missouri teen dies after saving 4-year-old brother from drowning

Alex Harris held his little brother above the water until his mom got there, and then he sank.

An 18-year-old boy is being hailed as a hero after drowning in the Missouri River to save his 4-year-old younger brother’s life.

Harris was swimming in the Missouri River on July 23 when he “went under the water and did not resurface” while attempting to save another swimmer, according to a Missouri State Highway Patrol report. The Holt County Coroner pronounced Harris dead the next day.

Alex Harris died just moments after saving his brother Asher from drowning. Asher had become entangled in a strong current and was struggling to stay afloat when his older brother rushed to his aid.

Alex was pulled from the river the next day 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.