Shaquille O’Neal is stepping up to cover the funeral expenses for Malachi Hemphill, a 13-year-old Georgia teen who fatally shot himself by accident while playing with a gun on Instagram Live.
The incident occurred Monday night. Hemphill’s mother, Shaniqua Stephens, heard a loud bang and ran upstairs to discover that her son had shot himself with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. His sister discovered that his cell phone was still live streaming.
Shaquille O’Neal visited the family on Thursday, after learning that Hemphill did not have insurance and his family was struggling to pay for his funeral arrangements.
“We just broke down and started crying because Malachi didn’t have any insurance,” godmother Shantirea 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 does for the community.”
“No mother should have to go through this,” O’Neal 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.”