2 years later: Mother, family asks for community’s help in solving Cleveland football player’s murder

CLEVELAND -- Two years after a star football player was shot and killed, his mother and sisters are once again pleading with the public for help solving the murder.

“Just help me and my kids get a little bit of healing, that’s all I really want,” said Neicey Bryant.

Her son, 17-year-old Michael Chappman, was a good student and quarterback at John Hay High School with dreams of playing football in college.

July 6, 2017 he was in between a shift at his summer job and practice when he and a friend were shot from behind at a park on Ansel Road in Cleveland.

“He was such an amazing person,” said Neicey, “To lose his life to gun violence for no reason, that’s what’s really tearing me apart.”

Michael survived the shooting, but was left paralyzed from the waist down.  Despite that, he welcomed FOX 8 News Reporter Suzanne Stratford into his room for an interview to draw attention to the shooting and help police catch the suspect.

“I never thought I’d be shot,” said Michael, “Just in the wrong place at the wrong time.... but football’s my life, that’s the only thing that bothers me, I can’t play football again.”

The teen was in good spirits and determined to walk again when he suddenly passed away on July 23, 2017.

“It feels like yesterday,” said Neicey, “Some days I just sit and cry.”

Multiple vigils were held for the popular football player and the African American Society on campus at Case Western Reserve University named a scholarship in his honor, while police pursued suspects.

Cleveland detectives released video of a silver SUV spotted near the park at the time of the shooting, but two years later no one has been arrested or charged.

“It just really hurts really, bad and I miss him a lot,” said Michael’s sister Tinetria, breaking down in tears.

“They took everything from us,” added Michael’s oldest sister Tinita.

The family is hoping and praying someone will finally come forward with information about the vehicle and a suspect so that they case can finally be solved and they can finally have peace.

“Have a heart, give us at least some closure, it won’t bring him back, but it will bring some closure to us,” said Tinetria.

Anyone with information is asked to call Cleveland police.

Continuing coverage, here.

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