Dozens honor Charles Bowah with touching vigil

Charles Bowah (Source: Family)
Charles Bowah (Source: Family)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Allstar Wrestling Club on Airline Highway is where 20-year-old Charles Bowah worked and spent so much of his time before he was gunned down on Eddie Robinson Drive.

One day after the tragedy, dozens of his family members, friends and those who knew him invested their time to make sure he is remembered for who he was and the many lives he touched.

The quick feet and high energy of training at Allstar was interrupted Tuesday night by overwhelming sadness and a touching vigil Bowah.

"I'm so thankful for his spirit," said one of his former coaches. "He gave of himself and his time."

"We have got to appreciate the time we have with each other right now," said one of Bowah's friends.

Bowah was shot Monday on Peach Street but his body found in a backyard on Eddie Robinson Drive. So many of his loved ones chose not to dwell on the unanswered questions from the incident but instead on his bright smile and selfless spirit.

Mark Harter's son wrestled with Bowah for about six years ... he organized the vigil so his extended wrestling family could honor his life.

"I just hated to see this happen to him," said Mark Harter. "Seeing them hurting, I just wanted to do something to honor Charles and get these kids together and let them do a little grieving."

Countless candles illuminated the young man's home away from home at Allstar but they were no match for the even bigger light one of his closest friends, Joshua Johnson, says radiated from him. The two were inseparable since Bowah first arrived in Baton Rouge from West Africa. Both of them instantly fell in love with wrestling.

"I just connected with him," said Johnson. "He had so much energy. I never met somebody who could match my energy."

Now that he is gone, Johnson plans to make it his mission to give back and achieve dreams the both of them shared.

"It's been a dream of mine to coach, but now since this, I'm going to coach most definitely for him," Johnson added.

Now that his picture hangs over the mat here in a small way Johnson says Bowah will always be a part of this place and he plans to live better because of it.

"I'm going to live happy every day. I'm going to not take anything for gr anted," Johnson explained.

After graduating from Tara High School, Bowah joined the Army National Guard but still volunteered as much of his time as possible to coaching younger wrestlers at Allstar Wrestling Club.

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