NBA star Shaquille O’Neal has volunteered to pay for the funeral of a 13-year-old boy who accidentally killed himself while showing off a gun on Instagram Live this week.
According to WXIA, O’Neal visited Malachi Hemphill’s family in Atlanta on Thursday night, and offered to cover all of the funeral costs.
“We just broke down and started crying because Malachi didn’t have any insurance,” the boy’s godmother Shantirea Bankston told the news station. “We weren’t prepared to bury him this young. We didn’t have insurance for him. So to have that from Shaquille O’Neal, it was a blessing and very touching, and we appreciate everything he does for the community.”
Shaquille O’Neal Will Pay for Funeral of Teen Who Accidentally Shot Himself on Instagram Live https://t.co/3deFnjdVft
— Jamie Clay (@IAmJamieClay) April 16, 2017
As Crime Online previously reported, Malachi died on Wednesday after bringing a gun home — unbeknownst to his family. When he was showing off the weapon in an Instagram Live video, he accidentally pulled the trigger and shot himself as friends watched.
His mother and sister heard a loud noise come to his bedroom and rushed to the door, which they found locked.
We kicked in the door. We found him just laying there in a pool of blood. My daughter screamed and said, ‘Mom turn his phone off!’ As I proceeded to look at his phone he was on Instagram Live.
O’Neal acknowledged the gift in a media statement.
“No mother should have to go through this,” the former Miami Heat player said. “I can only imagine the pain that she and all of Malachi’s family must be feeling. I just wanted to do what I could to help them at such a terrible time.”