After hearing the tragic news that a Georgia teen lost his life after accidentally shooting himself while playing with a gun, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is offering to help the young boy’s family.
According to 11Alive News, the sports analyst/retired NBA player made a visit to the family of 13-year-old Malachi Hemphill, who fatally shot himself on Instagram Live.
Earlier this week in his Forest Park, Georgia home, Hemphill was playing with a gun in his bedroom while streaming a live video for friends when his family heard a loud noise upstairs and found him lying in a pool of blood. He was pronounced dead on Monday at Grady Hospital in Atlanta.
Reports state that after the incident happened on the live stream, approximately 40 to 50 kids who watched the scene unfold online rushed to the boy’s home to make sure he was alive.
Among those across the nation to show an outpouring of support was O’Neal, who paid the family a visit to send his condolences on Thursday.
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“No mother should have to go through this. 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,” O’Neal told 11Alive in a statement.
“We just broke down and started crying because Malachi didn’t have any insurance… so to have that from Shaquille O’Neal it was a blessing and very touching, and we appreciate everything he do for the community,” his godmother Shantirea Bankston said.
Bankston told reporters that some may have known about the gun prior to the incident and is urging parents to stay actively involved in their child’s life.
“Check your kid’s book bag. Check your kid’s room. Be involved with your kids, too, and see what they are doing and hopefully a good message will come out of this,” she said.