Buffalo Bills player Shaq Lawson to pay for 11-year-old shooting victim's funeral

By Tre'Vaughn Howard

/ CBS News

Buffalo Bills player Shaq Lawson has offered to pay for the funeral expenses of an 11-year-old girl who was fatally shot over the weekend in her South Carolina home, CBS affiliate WSPA reported.

The shooting took place last weekend and at least 35 bullets hit the home where Ja'Naiya Scott was fatally shot and two others were injured. One of the other victims were Ja'Naiya's cousin.

A vigil for Scott on Wednesday took place at a local park in Anderson, South Carolina. Scott's vigil drew over 100 people, who wore purple in honor of the 11-year-old.

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"It could have been my little sister," Lawson said at the vigil, according to the Greenville News. "I've got a little sister around that age, and it could have been one of my family members."

Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson on Oct. 7, 2018, in Orchard Park, New York. Rick Scuteri / AP

Activist Traci Fant of Freedom Fighters Upstate, a volunteer-based organization with the goal to promote peace, unity and justice, organized the vigil where the announcement about Lawson paying was made.

"My little girl, she didn't deserve this," said Mershella Rice, Ja'Naiya's mother, WSPA reported. "My niece, she didn't deserve this. We didn't deserve this."

Police said the other 11-year-old victim injured in the shooting is still in the hospital and believed to be in critical condition. The 18-year-old victim has been released from the hospital.

This is not Lawson's first time lending a helping hand to a South Carolina community, in 2017 he took a group of kids from Helping Hands of Clemson, a foster home and emergency shelter for children, shopping for Christmas.

Lawson, who played at Clemson University, retweeted a post from a local news journalist with a purple heart.

💜 https://t.co/gV9jYICGvg

— Shaq Lawson (@Shaq_Lawson90) June 27, 2019

First published on June 27, 2019 / 7:46 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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