Community honors former high school football player with vigil and balloon launch

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CLEVELAND -- Sunday afternoon a vigil was held honoring Michael Chappman, the former captain and quarterback of the John Hay High School football team.

Chappman was sitting in a park at East 93rd Street and Kenmore one year ago when someone shot bullets into the park. One of the bullets hit him in the spine and  he died from an infection from the wound two weeks after being shot.

Now, his mother, grandmother and other loved ones held a prayer vigil and balloon launch in his memory.

Because the killer hasn't been caught, Chappman's family hopes now that time has passed, someone might now be willing to call police with a tip that leads to the killer's arrest.

"I just hope whoever knows, somebody knows, just come forward, just speak up. How would you feel if it happened to you? You would feel the same way we feel.  If you know, tell,  just come up. So I just want whoever knows something to come forward so we can get rest," said Chappman's grandmother Sallie Bryant.

Neicey Bryant, Chappman's mother said, "I had a good son. My son was going places in life. I raised him to be that person."

It's been a long and difficult year for Neicey Bryant.

"The beautiful person that he was. It hurts my feelings, because I can't kiss my son. I can't hug my son. I can't touch my son. The only thing I have are videos and memories of the good times I had with my child," Bryant said.

Many people attended Sunday's vigil resulting in a second balloon launch; all with the same wish as Chappman's mother -- Justice for Michael.

"Please, if you know what happened to Michael that day, if you know who shot Michael, please tell what happened to him, because you never know if it will come to your door. You will want somebody to tell what happened to your loved one. Amen," Bryant said.

Anyone with information about this cold case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 216-252-7463.
Crime Stoppers offers rewards and you don't have to give your name.

More coverage on this story here.

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