October 28, 2019
Former NBA All-Star Shaquille O'Neal gave a home to the family of Isaiah Payton, who was paralyzed by a gunshot wound in August.
O'Neal stepped in big time in the wake of discovering that the 12-year-old boy couldn't be discharged from the hospital since his house was not equipped after becoming disabled.
"This was a reckless, heartless and cowardly act of violence that forever changed the life of a 12-year-old child and his family..."
In an interview with Francesca Amiker of The A-Scene, O'Neal said, "I reached out to the family because I wanted to see the son and I said he's not going to release the sign until she's able to move on the first floor."
He added, "So, we found her a house. I'm going to pay her rent for the year and I'm going to give her some furniture and it's sad because her son is paralyzed from the chest down and no mother should have to go to that."
During the interview, the NBA Hall of Famer, who is an advocate against gun violence, explained why Isaiah's story touched him.
"I was watching the story and it's just sad," said O'Neal. "It could have been any one of us. It could have been my son."
"It could've been your cousin and she was living in a one-bedroom apartment with her two boys so we found her a house in College Park," he added.
"Nice area. I'm going to get her some Ring cameras on me. We're going to give her some furniture, TVs and pay her rent off for a year and help her get on her feet."
On August 17, Isaiah was leaving a football game at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta when gunfire erupted, as reported by Today.
The boy was shot in the spine. Another boy, Damean Spear, was hit in the leg and later released from the hospital. In a news conference, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said that Isaiah was not the planned target of the gunfire.
"This was a reckless, heartless and cowardly act of violence that forever changed the life of a 12-year-old child and his family, and deeply affected another juvenile," said Shields.
Isaiah's mother, Allison Wood, said she hopes that her son will one day walk again.
August 30, 2019