Sacramento Kings’ Harrison Barnes has offered to pay for slain #AtatianaJefferson’s funeral.
The Kings forward and his wife, Brittany, are coming forward to cover the funeral costs for 28-year-old Atatiana, who was murdered by a former police officer early Saturday. The officer, Aaron Dean, was charged with murder. Barnes, who is connected to the community, played for the Dallas Mavericks for two seasons. On Thursday, the couple explained why they decided to take that step.
“It’s about the family,” Barnes told reporters. “It’s about everything they’re going through. Our prayers obviously are with them. It was a gesture my wife and I wanted to do for them. Anytime you come into a community, you always have a piece of that community with you, and you want to give back.” Dean fatally shot Jefferson while she was playing video games with her nephew; he resigned on Monday.
“My wife and I wanted to do something for that family,” Barnes told reporters. “It was a tragic situation that happened. No one should be killed during a wellness check. But the biggest thing is anytime someone has to go through that, the last thing you want to have to worry about is trying to come up with the money for a funeral.” The Barnes’ are covering the cost of more than half of the services, and Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Malik Jackson has promised to cover any other cost of the ceremony, Lee Merritt, a lawyer for Jefferson’s family, told the Dallas Morning News.
Barnes said he has not spoken to the family. “We’re just giving them space respectfully,” he said.