UPDATE: 16-year-old boy drowns at High Falls in DeKalb County

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GERALDINE, Ala. (WHNT) -- The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office confirms a teen drowned Saturday afternoon at High Falls outside of Geraldine.

Officials tell WHNT News 19 the victim is 16-year-old Gavin Paul Brooks.  DeKalb County Coroner Tom Wilson says Brooks is from Union Grove in Marshall County.

Multiple rescue teams responded to the call, which came in around 5 p.m. Saturday.

"We had folks here swimming," Sheriff Jimmy Harris said.  "One guy slipped and fell and went under. His friends were trying to get him out of the water."

Sheriff Harris says the teen slipped and fell off a ledge, and went under the swiftly moving water.

Another teen was injured and stranded on nearby rocks when rescue teams got to the scene.

Search crews found the victim's body not far from where they say he slipped and fell, about two hours after the initial call came in.


Other teens were at the scene, but they are okay, Sheriff Harris says.

Sheriff Harris says while swimming is allowed at the falls, it gets dangerous when the water is high.

"It's just a tragic thing that we're used to down here, we have injuries, people fall off two or three times a year or more," Sheriff Harris said.


  • C. Gaskin

    It makes me sad to read such comments. It appears that this forum has turned into a place to brag of being a “dare devil”. Accidents happen but many can be prevented by using common sense. The comments left here should be respectful and offer condolences to this family that has lost their loved one. I agree that everyone should live life to the fullest. Leading a full life does not mean one has to be careless or risky in how we do it. We are blessed to live in a country to have the freedom to make our own choices. However, the wrong choice can leave untold heartache with your family for a lifetime. This coming July 5th will be 10 years since my only grandson made a wrong choice. He made the identical choice that Gavin Paul Brooks made….to jump from this same ledge… and his fate was the same. He was 14 years old and the last day his living body touched earth was at the top of High Falls. I believe the area could be enjoyed without jumping from the falls. I would hope that each person that has posted comments here will at least think twice about their life choices before making them.

    • melissa

      thank you for those words. if you had of know this young man. he was a sweetheart loved God loved helping ppl was a leader and was responsible. it was his time or he would b gone. God wanted another angel and he got on in Gavin Brooks

  • Chasity Clements

    All these negative comments about Gavin really make me mad. He was my best friend, and I’d really appreciate y’all having some respect in the time of mourning for many people.

  • Myra Feemster

    This just breaks my heart into a million pieces for his Grandmother, his brothers and his Dad. Gavin was such a sweet kid, who loved his Nanny, his family his friends and God. I cannot begin to understand why God took him at such a young age, but I know that is not for me to understand. Gavin is now with his Grandpa Bill who loved him so very much. Everytime I went to see his Nanny, Gavin was so full of sweet smiles, and kind words. Pray for his family, especially his Nanny Brooks. He spent so much time with her and she always took him to ball practice, he was her pride and joy. Gavin was only 16 but he made sure his Nanny had what she needed, they had a mother son relationship. May God bless this family at this time. I still cannot believe it.

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