Shaquille O’Neal will cover the funeral expenses for Malachi Hemphill, the Georgia teenager who accidentally shot and killed himself during a livestream video on Instagram.
Malachi’s godmother, Shantirea Bankston, told NBC 11 the former NBA athlete came by Malachi’s family home in Atlanta Thursday night and offered to pay for the services.
“We just broke down and started crying because Malachi didn’t have any insurance,” Bankston said. “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 do for the community.”
In a statement to the outlet, O’Neal said he wanted to help the family as they deal with Malachi’s tragic death.
“No mother should have to go through this,” he said. “I can only imagine the pain that she and all of Malachi’s family must be feeling.”
The 13-year-old died Wednesday at Grady Memorial Hospital from from his gunshot wound.
He had been handling a gun in an Instagram Live video when it accidentally went off.
WXIA reported that his friends watching the video had warned Malachi to put the safety on the gun, and it went off as he proceeded to do so.
“I heard a big boom,” his mother Shaniqua Stephens told the outlet. “I just knew that it was something that was wrong.”
Malachi was found in his bedroom by his mother and sister.
“We kicked in the door. We found him laying there in a pool of blood,” Stephens said. “My daughter screamed and said, ‘Mom! Turn his phone off!’ As I proceeded to look at his phone he was on Instagram Live.”
Stephens said she does not know how her son got the gun.