Saturday 17 February 2018

Shaquille O'Neal will pay for funeral of teen who accidentally shot himself on Instagram Live

Malachi Hemphill accidentally shot himself on Instagram Live
Malachi Hemphill accidentally shot himself on Instagram Live

Kathy Armstrong

Basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal has offered to pay for the funeral of a teen who accidentally shot himself on Instagram Live.

O'Neal visited tragic Malachi Hemphill's family in Atlanta on Thursday and said he would covered the burial costs.

Malachi (13) was filming a livestream video on Instagram when a gun he was holding went off.

O'Neal said in a statement to NBC 11: "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."

Malachi's godmother Shantirea Bankston said the generous offer is a relief for the family.

Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal

She explained: "We just broke down and started crying because Malachi didn't have any insurance.

"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."

Read More: Teenager accidentally shoots himself on Instagram Live: 'Monitor their phones, just monitor your children'

WXIA reports that friends who were watching the video on Monday urged Malachi to turn on the gun's safety but as he did so it went off.

His heartbroken mum Shaniqua Stephens said: "I heard a big boom, I just knew that it was something that was wrong.

"We kicked in the door. We found him 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."

She said she thinks Malachi didn't intend to take his own life and that it was an accident.

She also told WXIA that she doesn't know where her son got the gun.

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