FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- It’s been nearly a year since an innocent teen was shot and killed at a house party. According to authorities, 17-year-old Alonna Allison was caught in the crossfire between rival gangs in August 2015.
No charges have been filed in her case, but Tuesday her family came together to honor her memory.
Alonna Allison would have celebrated her 18th birthday on August 23. A billboard went up near the intersection Lafayette and Dewald. Family and friends gathered there to share memories of Alonna and release balloons in her honor.
“Today has been rough,” said Leroy Allison, Alonna’s father. “It’ like living it all over again.”
Alonna was shot just days after her 17th birthday. She was at a party on on Schaper Drive August 29. Leroy Allison said this has been the hardest year of his life, but today was especially difficult.
“To see that smile and to wonder why she’s not here,” he said.
Allison’s family and friends all gathered near the billboard on Lafayette street to participate in the memorial service. Even though she is not here physically, her father said he is doing everything he can to keep her spirit alive.
“She turned 18 today and this is all I can do to remember her and all the loved ones to remember Alonna the way she was,” he said.
People took turns sharing their favorite memories. There were plenty of hugs, tears, and laughs too.
“They were talking about some of the funny times that they had together,” said Bessie Bell, Alonna’s Great-grandmother. “And I think that helps. When you can remember the good things and have a good laugh.”
After singing the ‘Happy birthday’ song, the group released balloons; some had notes written to Alonna. There’s a message that her father wants everyone to know: don’t be afraid to speak up if you witness a crime.
“Alonna’s not going to come back. I know she’s in heaven. So what we have to do is stop from having these kind of things happen again,” said Leroy Allison. “The young kids just have to talk.”
Alonna’s case is currently in the hands of the Allen County prosecutor. A spokesperson there said they do not know if or when charges may be filed.