Security for AlterFest this weekend will again include uniformed Kettering police officers and other security as the popular annual fundraiser is held for the first time since a shooting last year on a nearby street killed one teen.
This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of Fairmont High School student Ronnie Bowers, who was shot while in a car on Willowdale Avenue after a dispute between two groups.
Festival officials said safety is always important and they are again staffing this year’s event with security and Kettering police.
Alter High School Principal Lourdes Lambert said festival organizers review safety measures yearly. She said the even though the shooting didn’t occur on school grounds the school community didn’t want to lose sight of the fact “a family lost a child.”
“We continue to pray for that family and any family when there’s a tragedy,” Lambert said.
The shooting stemmed from an ongoing dispute between two groups of people that were at AlterFest that night, Kettering Police Chief Chip Protsman said. One group of students left the festival to avoid a conflict, and the second group followed, and Bowers was shot while he was trying to drive friends home.
Kylen Gregory, 17, is facing murder charges in Montgomery County Common Pleas court, charged in Bowers’ death.
Lambert said AlterFest is meant to be a fun event for families and organizers take security of the event “very seriously.” The event draws about 30,000 attendees each year and raises around $500,000 for the school.
“We work hard to make sure safety measures are in place and people who come to the event are able to enjoy it,” she said.