By Tiffany Williams –
A city that has far too often had to deal with the tragedy of firefighter line of duty deaths, on Friday, yet again has been hit with yet another tragic loss. This time, a police line of duty death.
Worcester Police say that at approximately 1:35 p.m. police and fire were dispatched to Green Hill Park for a person possibly drowning. Upon arrival, Worcester Police say that officers observed a male in the center of the pond, “reaching an arm up and struggling.”
Multiple officers jumped into the pond and attempted to locate and rescue that individual as well as two other individuals. Officers were able to get those other two individuals out of the water but then they realized that one of their own, another officer, was missing.
Divers had to be called in and Worcester Police say that at approximately 2:28 p.m., divers located that officer and brought him to shore. That officer, who has been identified as 38-year-old Enmanuel “Manny” Familia was treated by UMass EMS and transported to UMass University Campus.
Worcester Police have confirmed that officer Familia, a five year veteran with the Worcester Police Department, later succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. Officer Familia leaves behind his wife Jennifer, his daughter Jayla, son Jovan and his parents.
Divers also located the body of a 14-year-old male, whose identity has not yet been released. Worcester Police say that he was taken to an area where he was pronounced dead.
Governor Charlie Baker on Friday tweeted, “Tonight, two families are experiencing unimaginable pain and loss in the wake of a devastating tragedy in Worcester, with Worcester PD Officer Manny Familia and a teen losing their lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of both.”
Governor Baker also tweeted, “Officer Familia is a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice while attempting to save the young man. We are thinking of all those grieving tonight, and of Manny’s brothers and sisters at the Worcester PD.”
On Saturday morning, the Worcester Police Department will escort Officer Familia from UMass Memorial at 55 North Lake Ave to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Westfield.