OMAHA — Michael A. Rowell Jr. was a metro-area rap artist who was devoted to his family and friends and had a promising future, his high school sweetheart said.

Rowell, 23, and his girlfriend Jasmin Townsend, 24, had been dating for seven years.

He had been supporting and encouraging her to finish law school, she said, and once that was done, he was going to go back to school. He already had an associate’s degree in occupational therapy, Townsend said.

Rowell was fatally shot just before midnight Aug. 8 outside The Waiting Room Lounge at 6212 Maple St. in Omaha. Officers found him lying on the grassy area between the concert venue and the business next door. A window on the Waiting Room building also was struck by gunfire.

Rowell was creative and entrepreneurial, Townsend said. He went by the rap name Ro Rambo and was developing his own line of clothing.

“He was very wise, very talented,” she said. “He always put a smile on everyone’s face.

“I’m sure a lot of people will say, ‘This is just another black man,’ but he was educated, he was talented, he was a family man.”

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Church of the Living God, 2029 Binney St. Rowell is survived by his parents, four sisters and a brother.

Rowell’s father, Jeff Scott of Omaha, said Wednesday that his son grew up “knowing that he was loved and protected.” Rowell attended Northwest High School in Omaha before graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs.

“He played football and basketball (in high school), and he loved his music,” Scott said. “He was a loving brother and a loving son.”

Scott said his son went to The Waiting Room the night he was shot in order to support friends in the music business.

“He was all about supporting his friends,” Scott said. “Some idiot happened to be there that decided to shoot.”

No suspects have been identified in the shooting.

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