Ohio Grandmother, 88, Killed by Stray Bullet While Planning Relative's Funeral

An Ohio grandmother was fatally shot in the back while she was gathering with family members to plan the funeral of her son. 

Ruth Lewis, 89, was sitting in her wheelchair when someone fired around six shots into a home in Warren around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Warren police said. 

Lewis later died at the hospital.

"She went up there to visit because of the circumstances surrounding her son's funeral," Warren police detective Michael Altiere tells PEOPLE.

Lewis was sitting in the living room when she was struck. 

"We are on working on some follow-ups," says Altiere, who also noted the house may have been targeted. "We have identified people that could have information. We are hoping for a quick turnaround. It is going to take some cooperation from the community."

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According to the Warren Tribune Chronicle, a 911 caller reported seeing a silver vehicle and a sports utility vehicle driving erratically when the shots rang out. 

Lewis's granddaughter Ryanna Brantley told WFMJ she had left the home to pick up something to eat when they saw police cars. 

"We went to Caesar's down the street," Brantley said. "And we seen 3 police cars so we called to check what was going on and then it caught us that they just shot the house up."

Lewis was well known in the community as an activist and churchgoer who had owned a barbecue restaurant and a beauty shop, the Tribune Chronicle reports.

"She always reached out to everybody; she never turned anyone down," her son Robert Lewis Jr., told the Tribune Chronicle. "If she couldn't do it, she would find someone who could." 

Lewis's daughter said her mother "wasn't done with her life." 

"She still was living her life," her daughter Patricia Mallory told the Tribune Chronicle. "I just feel cheated. Someone cheated my mom out of the rest of her life. It wasn't her time because when it is your time, you lay down and you go of natural causes. Not from someone taking your life." 


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