Balloons fill the sky in honor of homicide victim


REDDING, Calif. - Hundreds of balloons were released at the Redding Civic Auditorium Friday in memory of a teenager killed in a robbery last week.

Family, friends and supporters were all there to support the family and remember 19-year-old Josh Ahlberg's life.

Joshua was shot early last Thursday morning.

Matt and Anna Ahlberg were greeted with warm embraces from family and friends, all grieving the loss of their only son.

"The community has been awesome. Everybody has come together to support us. I'm just totally, i'm in awe about it. I just couldn't believe it," Anna said.

She said the community support has helped, and something they're taking day by day.

"We're hanging in there the best you can when you lose your child," Anna said.

She is still in disbelief.

"It's like it can't be happening. This is not happening. That was my first. This can't be. It's just like a nightmare and you want to wake up, it just is always there," Anna said.

Like many who said Josh has touched their hearts, his parents said the same.

"He was a good kid. He had a great heart. He loved everybody, very friendly. He would never not help somebody out," Anna said.

Josh's friend shared a video of he took of himself, which she said captured his kind and bubbly soul.

"The only thing you can do for me is go make somebody's day. That's what you can do for me. Just go make somebody's day. One person. And maybe tell them to go tell somebody's day too. Keep that chain reaction going," Josh can be heard saying in the video.

His parents are grateful to have shared many memories with their son.

"There was numerous camping and fishing and hunting trips, and he got to do a lot of neat things," Matt said.

The lawn in front of Redding Civic Center was filled with people holding colorful balloons who loved him.

"It's your family, your friends. It just helps you cope. The hardest part is coping with it all," Anna said.

Matt and Anna wrote their final messages to Josh, and put their arms over each other as they let their balloons go.