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04/15/2017 04:59 pm ET

Shaquille O'Neal To Pay For Funeral Of Boy Who Accidentally Shot Himself On Instagram

“I just wanted to do what I could to help them at such a terrible time,” the NBA great said.
“No mother should have to go through this,” Shaquille O’Neal said.
Theo Wargo via Getty Images
“No mother should have to go through this,” Shaquille O’Neal said.

NBA great Shaquille O’Neal is doing what he can to help a grieving mother who found her son dead after he accidentally shot himself with a gun earlier this week. 

Shaniqua Stephens was downstairs in the family’s home in Forest Park, Georgia, on Monday night when she heard a loud bang. She went upstairs and found her 13-year-old son, Malachi Hemphill, had accidentally shot himself while playing with a gun live on Instagram. Doctors later pronounced him dead.

“He was my only son. He was only just 13. Just the thought of me seeing him on the floor will never leave my brain,” Stephens said. She has also said that she does not know how her son came to be in possession of the gun.

Malachi Hemphill, 13, accidentally shot and killed himself this week.
Facebook
Malachi Hemphill, 13, accidentally shot and killed himself this week.

O’Neal has offered to cover the funeral services for Hemphill’s family. 

No mother should have to go through this,” the Hall of Famer said, according to a statement provided to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I can only imagine the pain that she and all of Malachi’s family must be feeling.

“I just wanted to do what I could to help them at such a terrible time,” he added.

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