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Family, friends remember 18-year-old killed in Cass County

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HOWARD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Family and friends of 18-year-old Dayman Chatman are speaking out after the teen was shot and killed early Sunday morning.

The shooting happened around 2 a.m. at a home in Cass County.

Most people remember Dayman Chatman or Day for his music. 

“He was born and he always sang and by the age of 4, he was playing on the guitar,” Chanel Spralls, Chatman’s mom, said. “He just had an ear for music and it was very natural.”

She said he used to sing at church and was always trying to get his name out there. That’s how he met Anthony Rucker, a local artist, at a basketball game.

“I want to be in a song or something put me on something, I’m like can you even sing, he like yeah, let me hear something. He blew the whole roof down,” Rucker said.

Since then, Rucker was like a mentor to Chatman. They made music together, encouraging positivity along the way.

Those who knew Chatman say he was friendly and outgoing. Now, they're in shock.

“I was like no, nah this not real, like in disbelief,” Rucker said.

“They told me that was not intended to happen to him. Nobody was out for him. He had no animosity with nobody. He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Spralls said.

She said she is done with the violence.

“I am just so sick of it period, amongst these children out here,” she said.

It was even an experience with violence, that prompted her to move from Chicago to South Bend years ago.

“I didn’t want that to be my child,” she said.

Spralls recently moved to Minneapolis, but Chatman wanted to stay in South Bend with his friends to pursue his music.

She said it’s been her son, who has gotten her through the hard times.

“H was just my strength. He was the one that made me push even when I couldn’t push or when I didn’t want to push,” she said.

Using his music for good.

“He came to me one day and he played a song for me,” she said. “He uplifted me and he uplifted plenty of people.”

Police are still looking for the person who shot Chatman. Spralls is asking the people who were at the party to speak out with any information they have. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Cass County Sheriff’s Office at dispatch at 269-445-1560 or the Cass County tip line at 1800-462-9328. You can also text your tip to: CRIMES (274637).

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