Kings forward Harrison Barnes and Eagles defensive tackle Malik Jackson have offered to pay for the funeral of Atatiana Jefferson, Fox 4 Forth Worth reported Thursday.
Jefferson, 28, was shot and killed in her home by Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean on Saturday while watching her 8-year-old nephew, per the Dallas Morning News. The shooting occurred after a concerned neighbor called the non-emergency police line to ask for a welfare check, reporting that the home’s doors were open and the lights were on.
Dean arrived with another officer, and walked the perimeter of the house, looking in through a glass window without announcing his presence. Dean yelled at Jefferson to show her hands before immediately firing a shot, striking and killing her.
"My wife and I wanted to do something for that family," Barnes told reporters Thursday. "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 spent over two seasons in Dallas before being traded to Sacramento in February. Barnes and his wife, Brittany, are covering more than half of the cost of the service, and Jackson is paying for the remainder, Lee Merritt, an attorney representing Jefferson's family, told the Dallas Morning News.
"It's about the family," Barnes added. "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."