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Shaquille O’Neal pays for funeral of Atlanta teen who accidentally shot himself

Photo Credit: Instagram - @shaq

Photo credit: Instagram – @shaq

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.


  1. Mason Youngblood on April 15, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    We, becayse the government is not going to do sh!t, WE..need to educate our young people about guns and how not-so-cool that they are. Hollywood and the media glorify guns like they belong in the hands of everyone, even the young. Go to the outside your local movie theater or on Redbox website and tell me how many movies are advertising someone with a gun in their hands. It is up to us and US alone…to educate and do our best to keep guns out of the hands of our young…because as you can see..Hollywood, entertainment, and music(especially rap..let’s just be real for the sake of our young) promotes the violence that we try to keep our young from being a victim don’t expect any of them to care.

  2. nosey rosy on April 15, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    but the truth about guns and kids is this children mimic what they see, all this social media stuff about gun, and how police shoot black men have instilled fear in they youngest black men . they are scared not just glorifying a gun . this boy was scared of the world he live in ., and the other spin is guns are glorified on XBOX TOO black boys use to not be into X BOX GAMES NOW THEY are which is where dylan claborne learn to shoot an automatic weapon , and adam lanza learned how to shoot , they didnt go to a rifle range , those games are dangerous. they tried to band them a few years ago and couldnt , consumer rights prevailed over that . and guns are still glamorized on video games . and they are shooting real people on those games . nuking people and blowing up bodies and children are laughing at this , and happy. but if we want to teach them to go to the army and not be afraid of guns then why was TAMIR RICE SHOT FOR JUST HOLDING A GUN .. i quest police dont agree with the teach the boys tactics the world likes . fathers believe their boys should know a gun by the age 9, and on boy shot his own daddy at a riffle range 2 years ago . because guns dont belong in the hands of children .
    and parents cant know everywhere these kids are , a 13 yo boy needs constant supervision .

    • nosey rosy on April 16, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      HOW many black men are in prison on gun possession charges? hundreds! how many in prison for shooting a person they love ,? hundreds , how many in prison for crimes against women and children using guns >? MILLIONS so if they dont make it to prison they will be at the graveyard for sho

  3. Whiteguy on April 16, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Act like a thug die like a thug.