NBA forward Harrison Barnes and NFL defensive tackle Malik Jackson will pay for the funeral of Atatiana Jefferson, her family attorney told CBS Dallas-Fort Worth. Jefferson was fatally shot by a police officer in her home last week.
Barnes, who plays for the Sacramento Kings, is paying for more than half of the service. Jackson, who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, will cover the rest.
“It was a gesture my wife and I wanted to do for them,” Barnes told reporters Thursday. “Anytime you come into a community, you always have a piece of that community with you and you want to give back.”
“It was a tragic situation that happened,” he added. “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.”
Funeral services for Jefferson will take place at The Potter’s House of Dallas at 2 p.m. Saturday. Bishop T.D. Jakes will deliver the eulogy and Reverand Al Sharpton will also deliver remarks.
“It is clear that the atrocity of this shooting opens up deep wounds that preceded this recent murder case that resonates far beyond our community,” Bishop Jakes said in a statement. “As a resident of Fort Worth myself, I understand the pain and anger associated with this tragic loss, However, the family has asked that the funeral not be overshadowed by her death but rather that the legacy of Atatiana Jefferson be honored and celebrated for the fullness of her life.”
Jefferson was shot in her own home by former police officer Aaron Dean Saturday morning while officers responded to a call about her front door being open. Dean resigned two days after the shooting and was later charged with murder.
The family was relieved by the arrest but said more needs to be done to change the police department. CBS News spoke to a former Fort Worth officer who echoed that sentiment.
“As a black female, former police officer, I’m afraid when I get stopped,” said Larhonda Young, who resigned from the force.
She said she doesn’t trust the department’s officers and feels Jefferson’s death represents a clear breach of protocol.
Omar Villafranca contributed to this report.
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