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Police investigate drowning of 49-year-old man at Jackson YMCA

By Mallory Cooke
By mcooke@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. -- Jackson police confirm a Madison County man drowned Wednesday in the pool at the Jackson YMCA.

Investigators say people who knew the victim confirm he has a history of mental issues.

“It is sort of shocking that something like that will happen,” Carl Kemp said, a parent.

Officers say the drowning happened around 5:20 p.m. Wednesday at the facility on Campbell Street. “They didn't notify us,” Kemp said. “I didn't hear anything about it.”

Jackson police say Wayne Dillard, 49, walked in, asked to use the restroom, stripped down to his underwear, then got in the pool. “When the lifeguard went to tell him he couldn't be swimming in his underwear, that's when he noticed him motionless on the bottom of the pool,” Captain Tyreece Miller said, with the Jackson Police Department.

Officers say Dillard was unresponsive when the lifeguard pulled him out of the water. YMCA Interim CEO and President Sheronda Green says they are saddened and shocked by the recent death.

“We would like to extend our prayers and condolences warmly to his family,” Green said.

Green made a statement then refused to answer questions. “We are conducting our internal investigation to figure out the facts surrounding this incident,” she said.

Investigators do not suspect foul play.

Jackson police say the victim used to live in Shelby County where authorities there confirm he had a history of mental illness.