Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes, his wife, and Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Malik Jackson will be paying for Atatiana Jefferson’s funeral, according to ESPN.
Jefferson was shot and killed, by a Fort Worth police officer while taking care of her 8-year-old nephew on Saturday (October 12).
The officer was making a “wellness check” after a neighbor of Jefferson’s called the non-emergency police number to report an open door.
The death has sparked national outrage, as Jefferson becomes yet another Black person killed at the hands of police.
Barnes, who played two and a half seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, wanted to do something for the family in a community he still has a connection to.
"My wife and I wanted to do something for that family," Barnes said. "It was a tragic situation that happened. No one should be killed during a wellness check. But 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."
Barnes and his wife will cover at least half the cost of the funeral and the Eagles’ Jackson will take care of the remaining balance.
Jefferson, was a 28-year-old college graduate working a pharmaceutical sales rep job to save money with the hopes of attending medical school.
On Monday (October 14), the Fort Worth police charged officer Aaron York Dean with murder. Dean had since resigned from the police department in the wake of his fatal shooting of Jefferson.
While nothing will bring Jefferson back to her family and loved ones, Barnes believed showing support would give some semblance of comfort.
"It's about the family," Barnes said of the gesture. "It's about everything they're going through. Our prayers obviously are with them. It was a gesture my wife and I wanted to do for them."
Kudos to Harrison Barnes, his wife, and Malik Jackson.
(Photo: Graham Denholm/Getty Images for Visit Victoria, Randy Shropshire/Getty Images)