Foundation honors the memory of a lost son, helps others along the way

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s been two years since Michael McKissic II was killed.

Lansing Police and his family are still looking for the person or people responsible for his death and they’re asking for your help to get justice.

During the early morning hours of August 1, 2015, the 23 year-old, who his family and friends call “Mikey” was standing on the front porch of a home on the corner of Elm and Grand Street when he and another man were shot.

McKissic later died at the hospital. The other man recovered.

6 News talked with “Mikey’s” father Mike McKissic a few days after his son died. Family and friends were mourning his loss and comforting one another at a vigil.

He told us he wanted to start a non-profit organization to bring something positive out of this senseless act of violence.

Not only did he start the foundation, but it’s proven to be successful in just two short years.

McKissic said it’s been hard and even though Mikey is gone, he’s making sure his legacy lives on through the Mickey 23 Foundation. You can learn more about it by clicking here.

Its mission: To improve the lives of young people through innovative education and training.

McKissic and his brother run McKissic Construction. Using his many years of knowledge and experience, he’s hoping these young men will benefit from this.

“Try to get these youth off the streets, some of ‘em are in the streets, some of ‘em are in their twenties,” McKissic said. “They come to me and say ya know, well I don’t want to work at McDonalds, this that and the other and I say well you can work for Mikey 23 Foundation and we’ll teach you a trade and hopefully from that you can move on and into the construction field.”

McKissic is rehabbing homes, rebuilding their foundations. It’s the same thing he wants to do for these young men, by teaching them skilled trades including roofing, plumbing and electric work.

The young men get paid, too.

“We trained thus so far 24 or 25 young adults,” he said.

Together, they took a house on Sunnyside Avenue in Lansing that had suffered a lot of damage from a fire, and turned it into brand new.

In fact, Mikey is buried not too far from there, in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Many of the supplies were donated by local businesses.

“It took about a good eight to nine months to complete,” McKissic said.

They even worked through the cold winter months to get it done.

“We put it up for sale, it sold” McKissic said. “I signed the papers the week before last at 10 o’clock that morning and seven hours later we had a full offer on it.”

All proceeds from the sale will go toward the next home that will be rehabbed. It will also help pay for the young men who work for the Mikey 23 Foundation.

While all this good is coming out of it, Mikey’s killer is still at large. His homicide remains unsolved.

“Michael was somebody’s son, he was somebody’s brother,” Lansing Police Detective Michael Looney said.

Det. Looney is investigating the case. He said prior to the shooting on the early morning hours of August 1st, there was a party on Elm Street that had just let out.

“There were people walking by when this incident occurred,” he said.

Looney and the McKissic family are asking for the public’s help.

“There’s many reasons out there why people don’t come forward and talk to the police when incidents like this occurred,” Det. Looney said. “Enough time has gone by where we need somebody to come forward and talk to us about what they saw that night. Even if you think it’s little I would encourage you to give us a call and tell us what that information is.”

With the sale of their first rehabbed home, the Mikey 23 Foundation is putting up a $5000 reward, hoping someone will come forward and call in a tip to police.

They say every little bit of information counts.

“I’m not looking for revenge. That’s not what I’m looking for,” McKissic said. “I’m just looking for justice ya know because it’s hard on his sister; it’s hard on his mother and his other siblings.”

It’s been hard for him, too. Doing the work through the Mikey 23 Foundation helps to ease the pain.

“Sometimes on the weekend when the kids are not here, I come here by myself and I make a small prayer and think about him,” McKissic said.

McKissic engraved something on the rafter of the house in memory of his son.

He said he’ll never forget the last conversation he had with Mikey.

“It was 4 o’clock and my religious thing comes off my phone and I was talking to Mike and I shut it off as I was continuing a conversation with Michael,” he said. “He said ‘Dad, ya know, I want to take over this business, the construction business, ya know I want to get more serious with it..I’ll never forget about it.”

Later on that night, McKissic got a knock at the door; it was his brother-in-law to deliver the news that Mikey had been shot.

“When your loved one passes away, it’s hard,” McKissic said. “But you have to turn on your fears and your anger toward your creator, God the almighty that’s what you have to do, that’s what’s gotten us through it.”

If you have any information about what happened that night, call Det. Michael Looney at (517) 483-6869, Det. Tracy Jones at (517) 483-6813 or Crimestoppers at 517-483-STOP.

A tip that pays off for police will pay off for you, in the form of a $5,000 cash reward.

Remember, you do not have to leave your name.

We welcome thoughts and comments from our viewers. We ask that everyone keep their remarks civil and respectful. Postings that contain profanity, racist, or potentially libelous remarks will be deleted. We will delete any commercial postings, as well.

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