Cleveland high school football player seriously injured in drive-by shooting


Michael Chappman, 17.

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CLEVELAND, Ohio --  A high school football player and team captain is hospitalized and might never walk again after being randomly targeted in a drive-by shooting in Cleveland.

“I never thought I’d be shot,” said Michael Chappman. “I don’t do anything, but be at home, on my phone or at football practice or at work.”

The 17-year-old has been playing football since he was six and was looking forward to his senior year at John Hay High School.

Doctors say he might not ever walk again.

Michael Chappman (photo courtesy of Michael's family)

Friday, he spoke with Fox 8 News Reporter Suzanne Stratford from his hospital bed at University Hospitals Medical Center.

He says on July 6, he got off work around 3:30 p.m., stopped home to see his mother, and around dinnertime went to hang out with a friend.

He and his friend were at a small park on Ansel Road when a vehicle drove by and fired shots at them, hitting them from behind.

A bullet tore through Michael’s throwing arm and torso.

“It went across my spine,” said Michael, “Like my whole body numb.”

Michael’s mother, Neicey Bryant, has been at his bedside ever since the shooting.

“I was basically in shock, because he had just left the house,” said Bryant." I can’t believe it’s happened again.”

In 2010, Neicey’s daughter, who was 14 years old at the time, was hit by a stray bullet that passed through their home's wall. Thankfully, her injuries were non life-threatening.

Bryant moved the family to an area she thought would be safer.

She is now calling on everyone in the community to stand together against these random acts of violence. “It shouldn’t be like that; we shouldn’t have to live like this.”

Michael's future is uncertain, but Neicey says her faith in God and family support will get them through whatever lies ahead.

Michael is also handling the situation incredibly well for someone so young.

“Me not walking... I don’t think about that ... I know I’m gonna walk again,” said Michael.

His friend was not seriously injured.

The shooting is under investigation.

Anyone with information about the shooting should call Cleveland police.

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