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Funeral Set for Douglas Byrd Football Player Killed in Shooting

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FAYETTEVILLE — Fayetteville police are investigating the murder of a Douglas Byrd High School football player, found dead in his house Wednesday morning.

Sherman Holliday, 18, was found about 3 a.m. with a bullet wound to his chest.

Sgt. James Todd of the Fayetteville Police Department says the victim's brother, Dennis, and a friend were in the house at the time of the shooting. They were questioned by police for 10 hours before being released Wednesday. Police questioned the friend again on Thursday.

Holliday's mother was apparently at work at the time.

Family friend and neighbor Jimmie Ollis says the brother came running over to her house to call police.

"He said he was in front of the house and he heard gunshots in the back of the house and ran out the front door," Ollis says.

Investigators say there was no burglary, and the shooting was not random or accidental.

Holliday, a senior, was a linebacker on Douglas Byrd's team, which is in the state 4-A playoffs this week. The Friday night game with South View High School will go on as planned, says Douglas Byrd coach Bob Parloi. He says the death is difficult for students.

"One of the things we talk about is that hardships develop perseverance, and perseverance develops character. This is one more thing in their young lives that they're going to have to handle and cope with," he says.

Dozens of Holliday's classmates are also taking his death hard. They gathered in front of his home Wednesday night, hoping to get a chance to speak with the family. Many of them still cannot believe what happened.

"I was talking to him yesterday, and today he is gone," says friend Jeffrey Johnson.

Holliday has another brother, Brian, who plays football for East Carolina University.

Sherman Holliday did have some brushes with the law. He was scheduled to appear in court in January for threatening someone, but his coach and principal say he overcame many obstacles and was on track to graduate. Reporters:Shani Blount, Melissa Buscher and Bob HollidayPhotographers:Michael Joyner, David McCorkle


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