8-year-old boy dies after falling from Aventura high-rise

AVENTURA, FLA. (WSVN) - - An 8-year-old boy who was visiting South Florida died after he fell from the top of a high-rise in Aventura, officials said.

Aventura Police and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units responded to Echo Aventura, located along the 3200 block of Northeast 188th Street, Thursday afternoon.

Officials had originally responded to a call of an unresponsive child at Peace Park, located across the street from the apartment complex.

“What we know so far is, it appears the child fell from the 12th floor of the Echo building,” said Aventura Police Sgt. Chris Goranitis.

The 12th floor is equivalent to the roof of the structure.

Officials said the victim landed in Peace Park.

Police later identified the child as Justin Fernandes-Pedra.

Investigators said evidence and witness testimony all point to the fall being nothing more than accidental.

Echo Aventura is located next to the Aventura City of Excellence School, from where students witnessed the active scene.

“I saw the sirens from my classroom and from the door,” said student Milton Serret.

A school resource officer heard the 911 call and rushed to help.

“He was one of the first to arrive and began CPR immediately,” said Goranitis.

After multiple unsuccessful attempts to resuscitate the boy, paramedics airlifted him in critical condition to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. The child’s parents went into the rescue chopper with him.

“Despite all of the efforts of the police department and fire rescue to try and revive, the child, unfortunately, was pronounced deceased upon arrival at Joe DiMaggio,” said Goranitis.

Now, as police continue their investigation into what led to his deadly fall, the community is coming together and planning a vigil in his honor at 7 p.m., Sunday.

“I have a 9-year-old boy and a 6-year-old-daughter and a 3-year-old daughter, and just seeing that is very painful,” said Michael Manzur, who is planning the vigil. “I think that this vigil that we’re organizing will help bring not only a little bit of light, but a lot of understanding to the family, this community and bring some healing.”

Officials said Fernandes-Pedra lived in Aruba and was visiting family in South Florida.

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