A Buffalo Bills player has stepped up in the wake of a horrific tragedy near his South Carolina hometown.
11-year-old Ja’Naiya Scott was shot and killed when someone came into her family home in Anderson, South Carolina and started shooting. More than 35 shots went into the home and Scott’s 18-year-old and 11-year-old cousins were wounded, People.com reports.
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Buffalo Bills defensive end, Shaq Lawson grew up 20 miles from Scott and felt compelled to help the grieving family.
“It could have been my little sister,” he said late Wednesday. “I’ve got a little sister around that age, and it could have been one of my family members.”
Lawson spoke to the Independent Mail and The Greenville News late Wednesday in a telephone interview from Arizona. He said he had reached out to speak to Ja’Naiya’s mother, Marshella Rice.
“I know her heart was hurting,” Lawson said. “I was so speechless I couldn’t saying anything. I felt for her pain. I felt the pain, too. I felt like any way I could possibly help out, I was going to do that. It hit my heart.”
Ja’Naiya’s uncle Fred Rice first announced that Lawson would pay for her funeral when Rice spoke at a vigil for the little girl Wednesday evening.
The three girls were at home with a woman who was one of their mothers and a 20-year-old man.
No suspects have been named in the case.
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