This week, an Atlanta teenager’s life came to a tragic end when he accidentally shot himself while broadcasting the horrific scene on his Instagram Live page. But in the wake of the tragic news comes the heartwarming surprise that NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal will pay for the funeral of the young teen.
According to reports, the incident happened this past Monday evening, when 13-year-old Malachi Hemphill was broadcasting live on his Instagram page and showing off a gun to his followers. In an interview with 11 Alive, Hemphill’s mother, Shaniqua Stephens, explained that the gun was originally empty but some of her son’s followers asked him to load the gun.
“As he put the clip in the gun, that is when the gun went off,” she said. Stephens says that she and her daughter heard a loud bang from downstairs and ran to check on Hemphill.
“I just knew that it was something that was wrong,” she said. “We kicked in the door. We found him just 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.”
Hemphill was rushed to Grady hospital where he succumbed to the gunshot wound.
“This is just a pain that will never go away,” she said. “He was my only son. He was just only 13. Just the thought of me seeing him on the floor will never leave my brain.”
Stephens said she wasn’t sure how her son got a gold of the gun but investigators are looking to find out which of Hemphill’s friends gave it to him.
Understandably, the family has been grieving the loss of their beloved son and while many people have been sending the family condolences, O’Neal decided to step up and help the family in a major way.
According to reports, O’Neal heard about Stephen’s loss and decided to pay a visit to the heartbroken mother in Atlanta on Thursday night. During the meeting, O’Neal offered to pay for Hemphill’s funeral service.
The kind gesture comes as a miracle to Stephens’ family because his grandmother reportedly revealed that they didn’t have life insurance for Hemphill. The boy’s grandmother says Shaq’s kindness is “a blessing and very touching” and that she appreciates what he does for their community.
Well, we’re happy that O’Neal has done such an amazing thing for Hemphill’s family and our hearts go out to them during this incredibly painful time.