Montgomery family pushes for new leads in 2015 killing

Montgomery family pushes for new leads in 2015 killing
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Jim Chapman (Source: Chapman Family)
Jim Chapman (Source: Chapman Family)
JIm Chapman (Source: Chapman Family)
JIm Chapman (Source: Chapman Family)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A senseless killing remains unsolved and now a Montgomery family is looking to heat things up a cold case. Jim Chapman, 75, was murdered in 2015 while running an errand for a friend, and his loved ones are still left wondering what happened.

On Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015, Chapman was gunned down near the intersection of Rosa L. Parks Avenue and Fleming Road, south of the Boulevard. It is believed he was shot during a robbery, according to Central Alabama CrimeStoppers.

Chapman's ex-wife, Martha, says her family feels like they're in limbo and like their lives can't move forward until they know who killed him.

"We want to be able to go to his graveside and know who did this to him has been found and gone through the court system. We want to know that justice has been served for Jim," she said. "Things like this aren't supposed to happen to good people."

Holding tight to memories of family birthday parties and holidays together, relatives are fighting to uncover new developments. They want to get the case back in the public eye in the hopes it will help spark some leads.

On the night of his death, Chapman went to make a sale for a friend, pulling into a parking lot of a business off of Rosa L. Parks Avenue for the deal to go down. Family members say he was shot as soon as he got out of his car.

"He was just there to sell a cheap $50 rifle and our whole family was torn apart over $50, for something he would have just given them if they had given them the opportunity. If he knew he was in a dangerous situation like that, he would have just handed it over to them," said his daughter, Jessica Horton.

Chapman loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren, teaching them to ride horses and watching them doing the rodeo and archery. He also went out of his way to help others.

"He was just a super nice guy. He was a good person. He would do anything for anyone. He would give money out to the homeless. He would give them a place to sleep to keep them out of the cold," Martha Chapman said.

Now, his family doesn't want the capital murder case to turn any colder.

"There's a lot of traffic other there. I know somebody out there knows what happened, if they would just come forward," Horton said. "I feel like he's been forgotten about and pushed to the side and I want everyone to know that we're still here fighting for answers."

Chapman was killed during a violent Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2015. There were six murders over the course of four days in the city. The day before he was shot and killed, Chapman attended the birthday party of his oldest grandchildren. The family had no idea it would be the last time they would all be together.

"In that weekend and it being so violent, maybe he just got lost in the shuffle. We don't know. But we would just like to find out what happened," Martha Chapman said. "Has this individual killed someone else? Have they done it before and gotten away with it? Has he done it since then?"

In an effort to move the case forward, Chapman's family and friends have put up a $1000 reward, which Central Alabama CrimeStoppers is matching.

His relatives are calling on the Attorney General's Office, State Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshal's to get involved in the investigation and on the city and governor's office to help increase the reward.

"My life just hasn't made any sense since he's been gone. Nothing makes any sense without him around anymore," daughter said.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (334) 215-STOP.

"We need some kind of closure so that Jim could rest in peace knowing that his family is happy, or as happy as we can be without him. It would bring us some comfort so that we wouldn't still have to cry every night," Martha Chapman said.

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