Witnesses talk about Henderson teen's act of heroism - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Witnesses talk about Henderson teen's act of heroism

HENDERSON, TX (KLTV) -

A teen's body was recovered from a lake in Henderson Thursday night.

Officials with the Henderson Police Department say just after 7 p.m. they received a call about a possible drowning near the gazebo at Lake Forest Park.

What was supposed to be a fun time at the lake had turned into a night Griffith Gainey and Thomas Reneau would never forget.  

“To think that, you know, we were just fishing here and then now all of a sudden it’s a rescue mission,” witness Griffith Gainey said.  

Henderson police say Thursday evening Johnathan Cano and some friends were gathered at the gazebo at Lake Forest Park when one of Cano's friends jumped into the lake and tried to swim to a nearby buoy.

“He started struggling and asking his friend to help him, and that’s when Johnathan jumped in to save him,” Gainey said.

It wasn’t long before both Jonathan and his friend were calling out for help.

“They started screaming for help, so me and Thomas ran out there, and we dove in,” Gainey said.

Thomas was able to grab Johnathan’s friend. He made it out okay, but unfortunately Johnathan was already under water.

“I just kept swimming, waiting for his head to pop back up so I could grab him but it never came back up,” witness Thomas Reneau said.

By the time Thomas and Griffith got Jonathan’s friend back to land, first responders had arrived. Griffith says Johnathan had been under the water for over a minute.

Rescue teams looked for Johnathan knowing time was of the essence.

“Just knowing that every passing every second counts, and that just one less sec one less chance of being able to bring Johnathan back,” Gainey said.

After searching for over an hour Henderson Police Department say they found Johnathan’s body around 8:20 pm.

“That’s when it finally hit me, like, ‘wow he didn’t come back up’ and I just started crying,” Reneau said. “There was nothing else I could’ve done, he was right there in hand's reach and I didn’t get him.”

Now the men are trying to figure out where to go from here.

“It’s gonna keep playing like a broken record, over and over and over again for a very long time, it's just something I'm going to have to live with,” Gainey said.

Thomas and Griffin are calling Johnathan a hero for trying to save his friend, and say they both wish they could’ve done more.

Henderson police are asking that visitors of the park avoid swimming in the lake.

RELATED: Body of Carlisle ISD student pulled from Henderson lake

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