Drowning caused Black Gay Pride partier’s death

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A man who was pulled unconscious from a pool at an Atlanta Black Gay Pride party later died due to drowning likely caused by heart problems, according to medical investigators.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office ruled Henry Lee's death an accident caused by drowning likely due to several cardiac issues, including an enlarged heart and cardiac dysrhythmia, which is an irregular heart beat, according to Investigator Betty Honey.

The finding in Lee's death on Sept. 2 debunks speculation on social media that his drink was spiked with drugs, causing him to fall in the pool and die. No drugs were found in Lee's system, Honey said.

Lee, known as Amar'e Lee on Facebook, lived in Dallas but was from Arkansas. He was in Atlanta for his first Black Gay Pride celebration and was attending Wassup N ATL's Wet & Wild Pool Party on Aug. 30 at the Holiday Inn on Virginia Avenue. Party-goers discovered him unconscious in the pool about 8:50 p.m., according to a police report, and Wassup N ATL team members provided assistance and CPR until paramedics arrived, said Mario Harris, the owner of Wassup N ATL.

Lee died about 2:15 a.m. on Sept. 2 at the south campus of Atlanta Medical Center. At the time, the East Point Police Department and the medical examiner said they were awaiting the results of toxicology tests and other laboratory work before determining what caused Lee's death.

East Point police Major Russell Popham has said there were no signs that Lee was the victim of violence or had trauma to his body. On Tuesday, Popham told the GA Voice that its investigation into Lee's death is now closed.

Friends and family held a memorial service for Lee on Sept. 5 in Arkansas.


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