Stars from the NBA and NFL have stepped up to pay the entire cost of the funeral of Atatiana Jefferson, the Fort Worth, Texas, woman who was killed in her home by police during a wellness check.
Former Dallas Mavericks NBA star Harrison Barnes is going to pay for 90 percent of the funeral costs, while Philadelphia Eagles NFL player Malik Jackson will take care of the outstanding balance, according to NBC News.
Jefferson, a 28-year-old pre-med graduate of Xavier University, was playing with her 8-year-old nephew at approximately 2 a.m. Oct 12 when a team of officers surrounded her home. Former Fort Worth Officer Aaron Dean shot and killed her through a window just as he yelled for her show her hands. He never identified himself. He has now been charged with murder after being terminated from the Dallas Police Department.
The violent tragedy tore at the hearts of millions nationwide and Barnes said he felt compelled to help.
“My wife and I wanted to do something for that family,” Barnes, 27, said of himself and wife Brittany, according to NBC Sports.
“It was a tragic situation that happened. No one should be killed during a wellness check,” Barnes said. “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.”
Harrison Barnes on he and his wife’s decision to pay for the funeral of Atatiana Jefferson. pic.twitter.com/D9jQSMycOR
— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) October 17, 2019
Jackson came forward to help not long after Barnes. The family attorney Lee Merritt added that the two athletes did not want to be identified for their kind gesture.
“They did it because they cared,” Merritt said.