CLOSINGS AND DELAYS:

Anna Local Schools, Ansonia Local Schools, Ascension School, Auglaize Industries, Beavercreek City Schools, Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools, Benjamin Logan Local Schools, Bethel Local Schools, Bethlehem Lutheran School, BetterLiving @ Kuntz Center, Botkins Local Schools, Bradford Schools-Miami Co, Cardio Pulmonary Wellness-Spngfld, Carlisle Local Schools, Carroll High School, Catholic Central School, Cedar Cliff Local Schools, Celina City Schools, Chaminade Julienne H.S., Christian Academy-Sidney, Clark Preparatory Academy, Clark-Shawnee Local Schools, Cliff Park High School, Clinton County Head Start, Coldwater Exempted Village Schools, Community Christian School, Covington Exempted Village Schools, Crossview Christian Tuesday School, DECA Middle, DECA Prep, Dayton Barber College, Dayton Business Technology High School, Dayton Early College Academy, Dayton Job Corps Center, Dayton Leadership Academies, Dayton Public Schools, Dayton Regional STEM School, Dominion Academy of Dayton, East Dayton Christian School, Emerson Academy of Dayton, Emmanuel Christian Acad.-Spngfld, Fairborn City Schools, Fairlawn Local Schools, Faith Preschool, First Baptist Fairborn Wee School, Fort Loramie Local Schools, Fort Recovery Local Schools, GCESC Programs Bellbrook Site, Germantown Christian Schls., Global Impact STEM Academy, Graham Local Schools, Greene County Career Center, Greene County Learning Center, Greeneview Local-Jamestown, Greenon Local Schools, Greenville City Schools, Guiding Shepherd Christian School, Hardin-Houston Local Schools, Holy Angels in Dayton, Horizon Sci. Acad-Dayton Downtown, Horizon Science Acad.-Elementary, Horizon Science Acad.-H.S., Huber Heights Schools, Imagine Schools-Dayton, Immaculate Conception School, Indian Lake Local Schools, Jackson Center Local Schools, Lebanon Christian School, Lebanon City Schools, Legacy Christian Academy, Lehman High School, Liberty High School, Life Skills High School-Dayton, Mad River Local Schools, Marion Local Schools, Mechanicsburg Exempted Schools, Miami East Local Schools, Milton Union Schools, Minster Local Schools, Mississinawa Valley Local Schools, Montgomery Preparatory Academy, Mother Brunner Sch./Precious Blood, Mound Street Academies, Ms. Shelly Place Academy, New Bremen Local Schools, New Knoxville Local Schools, Newton Local Schools, Nicholas School, Nightingale Montessori School, North Dayton School of Discovery, Northeastern Local Schools, Northridge Schools, Northwestern Local Schools, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, Our Lady of Rosary School-Dayton, Pathway School of Discovery, Piqua Catholic School, Piqua City Schools, RT Industries, Randolph Eastern School Corp, Randolph Southern School Corp., Rehab Center & Neuro Devel, Richard Allen Schools, Risen Christ Lutheran School, Riverside Local Schools-Logan Co, Russia Local Schools, S and H Products, Salem Christian Academy, Senior Center of Sidney/Shelby Co., Shelby Hills E.C.C, Sidney City Schools, Sidney Holy Angels, Southeastern Local Schools, Spin-Kemp Christian Preschool, Springboro Community Schools, Springfield Christian School, Springfield City Schools, Springfield Prep. & Fitness Acad., Springfield-Clark CTC, St. Anthony Elementary, St. Benedict the Moor Catholic School, St. Brigid School, St. Helen School, St. Henry Local Schools, St. Luke School, St. Marys City Schools, St. Patrick's in Troy, St. Peter Catholic School-Huber Heights, St. Peter Early Childhood H. Heights, Summit Academy Community School - Dayton, Summit Academy-Xenia, Tecumseh Local Schools, Temple Christian School Dayton, The Modern College of Design, Thursday School of Troy, Tri-Village Schools, Triad Local Schools, Trotwood Prep-Fitness Acad., Troy Christian Schools, Troy City Schools, Upper Valley Career Center, Urbana City Schools, Vandalia Butler City Schools, Versailles Village Schools, Victory Christian School-Urbana, Wayne Local Schools, West Liberty-Salem Local Schools, Wilmington City Schools, Xenia Community Schools, Yellow Springs Schools,

breaking news

TRAFFIC ALERT

WEATHER ALERT

live video

Family, friends release balloons in honor of Ronnie Bowers

Published: Monday, September 12, 2016 @ 12:05 AM
Updated: Monday, September 12, 2016 @ 8:12 AM

Family and friends on Ronnie Bowers released balloons after his memorial on Sunday.

Hundreds of people packed the Kettering Fairmont High School auditorium today to attend the funeral for 16-year-old Ronald Bowers, exactly a week after he was shot in the back of the head near AlterFest.

Mourners were given a glimpse into Bowers’ short life. Four poster board photo collages of Bowers from infancy through his teen years were on display near the entrance. A slideshow with more photos of Bowers played on a large screen above his casket. Outside the auditorium, people gathered in small groups, consoling one another and sharing hugs.

Nearly every seat was filled at the auditorium for the start of the funeral. Family members wore red, with some adorned with corchet heart pins over their chests. Police said Bowers was an innocent bystander who was shot Sept. 4 after an incident flared that up at AlterFest ended in a nearby neighborhood in Kettering. Bowers, who died Tuesday, was an organ donor. His death has been ruled a homicide.

Content Continues Below

RELATED: Autopsy complete for Ronnie Bowers

Roger Hemmelgarn, Ronnie’s stepgrandfather, said he has fond memories of Ronnie, especially when he was a little boy who enjoyed looking at the steers in the barn or sitting on his lap when he mowed the lawn. Once, Hemmelgarn’s daughter, Ronnie’s stepmother came over with Ronnie when he was still small while Hemmelgarn was walking through the yard. “I saw Ronnie and I yelled, ‘Hey Ronnie’ and he came running right into my arms,” he said.

“He was over this past summer with his dad and his stepbrother and sister to get some firewood, and now this has got to happen,” Hemmelgarn said. “I’m really glad he came over.”

Bowers’ mother, Jessica Combs, asked all media to leave the auditorium for the funeral.

The service — which Routsong Funeral Home on Stroop Road helped organize — was to include songs from a few friends and eulogies by selected friends, family and a pastor, said Combs said. “My family and I — including my kids — have the largest friends support system that anyone has ever seen,” she said. “We have a huge friends support system — that I’m grateful for,” Combs said previously. Following her son’s funeral, she declined to say more.

After the funeral, more than 200 in attendance stayed to pray before a balloon release in Bowers’ honor.