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Mourners make their way into Admiral King High School last night to pay respects to Airman 1st Class Eric Barnes who was killed in Iraq.
LORAIN -- Some knew him as the friendly kid down the street. Others knew him from sports and activities at Lorain Admiral King.
Others knew him as an outgoing guy, the first person in a group to introduce himself to a stranger.
And hundreds of people came yesterday to pay tribute to Air Force Airman 1st Class Eric Barnes.
The 2004 Admiral King graduate was killed earlier this month when his convoy was struck by a roadside bomb in Iraq.
Dozens of small American flags lined the entrances to Admiral King's parking lot and the school yesterday as friends, family members, Boy Scouts, classmates and complete strangers came to pay their respects.
''Eric was by far one of the most caring people I've ever met,'' said Nicole Daub, who used to bowl with Barnes at Rebman Recreation on Oberlin Avenue.
''He was definitely one in a million,'' she added, wiping away tears.
Others remembers Barnes from the school band, where he played trumpet.
''He was a stand-up guy, a real kind person,'' recalled Gabriel Washington, a 2006 Admiral King grad who played in the band with Barnes.
Several people who came to pay their respects said they knew Barnes from his Boy Scout days.
''He would do anything for anyone,'' said Lance Kaspar, who was in Boy Scout Troop 397 with Barnes. ''If he ever saw someone that needed help at all, he would drop what he was doing and help them.''
When playing games with the troop, Kaspar added, ''I always wanted to be on Eric's team.''
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. today at Lorain Admiral King High School.
Burial will follow in Elmwood Cemetery.

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