Former basketball star-turned-NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal spoke to TMZ about his decision to pay for the funeral of seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Texas shortly before the new year began.
The funeral was reportedly held yesterday (Jan. 8), and beforehand, the four-time NBA champ presented Barnes’ mother with a cashiers check to pay for the cost. He told the gossip site that he didn’t want to the family to have to deal with expenses during such a difficult time.
“I been doing stuff like that for years,” he said. “I watch the news, the pain that the mom had to go through and I saw they were raising money for the funeral. With something that terrible to have happened, I don’t want people to have to worry about trying to raise a few thousand to pay for a funeral.” In April 2017, O’Neal covered the funeral expenses for Atlanta teen Malachi Hemphill, who accidentally killed himself on Instagram Live.
A second suspect was arrested in connection to the shooting death of the child. Larry Woodruffe, 24, was reportedly the person who fired the fatal shot that hit Jazmine and injured her mother, LaPorsha Washington. Jazmine’s sister, age 6, sustained injuries from being hit by shattered glass.