INDIANAPOLIS – The Lawrence North High School community, along with friends and family of a 15-year-old boy, mourned his loss after he collapsed during a Monday rehearsal and died.
The Metropolitan School District in Lawrence Township announced the sudden and unexpected death of a new student, identified by the Marion Coroner District Office as R’Mon Rowley, late Monday night. The teen’s family told FOX59 that he also goes to R’Mon Robinson.
“R’Mon has always been a wonderful child; I am always happy, always smiling, and always ready to help others,” said the boy’s aunt, Taja Robinson.
Robinson said their family is working to deal with the news of Ramon’s unexpected death. She said her nephew was in good health and she didn’t know he had any pre-existing health conditions.
“How could this happen to a teenage boy? You know what I’m saying, it’s shocking,” Robinson said. “My little niece called us and said Ramon was dead. We sat for hours trying to understand what the hell was going on. We didn’t know what was going on.”
She shared that her nephew was someone who loved being around, had many friends and enjoyed watching cartoons.
“That’s how he expressed himself to the world too. If anyone knows anything about animation, you know there is always a character out there who is all about helping others or trying to inspire others to do certain things,” Robinson said. The last time I saw him dye his hair was. Half of his hair is red and half of his hair is black. I was like, ‘Oh man, you really captured the character of the characters.'”
While Robinson shared that R’Mon also liked to be kept on occasion, it was clear in talking to his classmates and friends that he made a huge impact on the school community.
“It was very heartbreaking for me when I learned the news,” said classmate Ernesto Vazquez. “He was a good kid who, you know, was fun and lively.”
“People are really sad now that he’s gone,” said Aaron Nieto. “Today, like, school is so empty.”
On what was the last day of school for students in Lawrence North, the year ended on a darker note as the hallways filled with one less smile. The district confirmed that counselors will be at school for students and teachers on Tuesday.
“It was shocking to me. I just – he was a great kid. It was just sad,” said Rafael Nava.
Nava said he was leaving training early on the field when it all happened Monday night.
According to preliminary information that district officials provided with MSD in Lawrence, R’Mon died while practicing track and field. His family told FOX59 that he wasn’t participating in the track, but that he was on the field for soccer practice when it all happened.
“He was playing football just to be clear,” Robinson said.
A spokesperson for the school district declined an on-camera interview on Tuesday. But officials said the soccer and track and field coach is the same person and that the majority of soccer players participate in both sports that fall in different seasons. There was track and field practice going on Monday evening while R’Mon was there.
The district later clarified that R’Mon was in the field for a conditioning exercise. We asked if he was under coaches and staff at the time of his collapse and died and we are waiting for a response from district officials.
Robinson said their family was hurt and saddened by Romon’s death and said they wanted answers for what happened before the teen collapses and eventually dies. They also wonder if more can be done to help him before it gets to this point.
“It seems very unfair that he was taken away so quickly and I feel it could have been avoided,” Robinson said.
While their family waits to learn more about the events leading up to R’Mon’s death, they also want people to take the time to honor him by remembering who he is and continue to spread joy by doing good things for others.
“He was the kind of person he was, always inspiring others to do better or to be better,” Robinson said.
His colleagues and friends said this catastrophic loss showed them how valuable life is. They plan to honor R’Mon by not taking it for granted, as well as keeping his memory alive.
“You never know what could happen to a loved one or a close friend,” Vasquez said.
Neto added, “Just like him. Get more energy, be funny, and just try to enjoy your life while you’re here.”
The R’Mon family held a fundraiser after his unexpected death. You can read more about it by visiting the link here.
Coroner’s Marion County office did not announce the cause of Ramon’s death until Tuesday night.