CLEVELAND - Local high school student and star athlete Michael Chappman passed away Saturday night after being hit by a stray bullet earlier this month.
Chappman was an upcoming senior. He played football at John Hay High School, and was looking forward to prom.
Friends, family and classmates gathered at the school to remember Chappman and how he impacted their lives. They set the scene with balloons and candlelight.
Chappman, 17, was caught in a drive-by shooting that his family says he had nothing to do with.
Doctors said he would be paralyzed from where the bullet hit him. Chappman and his family had accepted that fate, but then he passed away from complications Saturday night.
Friends described him as funny, someone who always had a smile.
Michael's mother, Neicey Bryant, spoke at the vigil. He was her only son and she urged the young people in the crowd to watch out for each other's safety. She thanked them for their kind words, and added some of her own.
"He played safety and wide receiver here and these teammates love him. If they had a bad day, they knew Michael was going to brighten their day and that's all it was,” Bryant says, “Michael was a real good person that I raised him to be and it hurts my heart."
A huddle and fireworks closed out the vigil.
A Go-Fund-Me page was previously set up to help pay for expenses related to Michael’s rehabilitation and treatment. With the news of his death, people continued to donate to the family.
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