“He took a bullet for somebody, but he was an innocent bystander,” said Tinetria McGhee, sister of John Hay football star quarterback Michael Chapman, who was shot last July 6th while walking home from his job with a friend, along Ansel Road, on Cleveland’s East side. McGhee sat and slept in a makeshift bed, vigilantly by his bedside, surrounded by family at University’s Lakeside Hospital until Friday, July 21st. Chapman’s family and friends believed he would walk again in contrast to the doctors’ prognosis of paralysis from the waist down, but certainly anticipated he would survive.
“I’m not giving up. I am going by the Master’s plan. He (Michael) is strong. I’m in the process of moving, I don’t want him to come back here, the Wade Park area. He needs a home with wheel-chair access and he’ll need therapy,” said Bryant, last Thursday.
McGhee said Michael, 17, didn’t speak about the incident much, but she knew he was hurting.
“He has his breakdowns but he won’t let us see him down. We have to stay strong for him. He’s still his goofy self,” said McGhee.
Chapman said in a television interview from his hospital bed last week that he could not believe anybody would shoot him. He said he would walk again.
Michael Chapman passed away, Sunday morning, July 23rd. Bryant said a lodged bullet traveled through his body and caused damage to his organs. Chapman was to begin his senior year, in August, at Ted Ginn Academy, a star football player for John Hay High school and had many college scouts eyeing his abilities. The academy does not have sports teams and students play for local high schools including Glenville. Chapman began his football activities at the age of five to keep him ‘out of the streets’ Bryant said. He was her only son, the youngest of two sisters, Tinita and Tinertia.
In May 2016, Diamond Russell, 19, died a few days before his graduation from Ginn Academy, a nephew of academy founder Ted Ginn Sr., shot in the back, murdered at a gas station in East Cleveland. Russell planned to play football at a community college in Kansas. A Cuyahoga County judge sentenced prison terms for Alonzo Patterson, the gunman, 25 years, and his accomplice, Dontez Long to six years, in a plea deal.
Joyce Ousley posted a Facebook photo with Russell and Chapman in Lake Erie Sharks football team uniforms and commented, “We lost 2 babies in this photo in less than 2 years. Pray for our youth.”
Tinertia, 21, suffered a gunshot wound to her arm at age 14, when a bullet pierced through her home. She said finding justice for Michael will give her peace.
“I know somebody knows something and we hope they come forward,” said Tinertia.
Sunday morning Neicey Bryant Facebook posted; MY SON IS GONE HOME WITH THE LORD, MY SON FOUGHT TO THE END, I HOPE HEAVEN GOT A FOOTBALL FIELD