MURRIETA, Calif. - A newly released video, exclusive to Eyewitness News, shows the final moments of a 13-year-old Murrieta boy's life.
Alex Pierce, pinpointed by a yellow arrow in the video, is seen swimming in a pool at Vista Murrieta High School last summer during a year-end party for the middle school band and choir.
In the video, Alex struggles to stay above the water and repeatedly raises an arm before he goes under.
For nearly two minutes, Alex is under the water until classmates notice him and pull him to the surface.
"I dove down there as quickly as I could. I tapped his arm, checked to see if he was responding. When he wasn't, I grabbed him," classmate Rylie Spivey said.
Another classmate, Brian Bonus, said he helped Rylie pull Alex to the water's surface.
Those children - not the adults or lifeguards - tried to save Alex. For seven minutes, Alex remained in the pool and no CPR was administered as his lifeless body was walked around the pool.
"What that means is Alex was without oxygen for a total of nine minutes before the paramedics arrived and started doing CPR on him," said family attorney Robert Glassman of the law firm Panish Shea & Boyle LLP.
Alex died days later when his family took him off life support. His family is now suing the school district and Keith Good, the head swim and dive coach at the school who is also a lifeguard and CPR instructor.
They said Good assigned the lifeguards who were there that day and failed to properly train and supervise them. The family also said Good did nothing once Alex was found unconscious.
"Had the appropriate care been given to Alex sooner, had CPR been given sooner to Alex - he would be here with us today. Instead, he's dead and the family is mourning the loss and will continue to mourn this loss for the rest of their lives," Glassman said.
The school district said they could not comment on pending litigation.
Glassman said the family is suing in part so that they don't have to see any other family go through what they went through.