Bills defensive end and former Clemson star Shaq Lawson will pay for the funeral of an 11-year-old shot to death this week in his native South Carolina, the Greenville (S.C.) News reported Thursday.
Ja’Naiya Scott died early Sunday in a shooting at her home in Anderson, South Carolina, some 20 miles from where Lawson, the Bills’ first-round pick in 2016, grew up.
“It could’ve been my little sister,” Lawson said Wednesday by phone from Arizona. “I’ve got a little sister around that age, and it could have been one of my family members.”
Lawson told the News and the (Anderson, S.C.) Independent-Mail that he had reached out to speak to Scott’s mother, Marshella Rice.
“I know her heart was hurting,” Lawson said. “I was so speechless I couldn’t say anything. I felt her pain. I felt the pain, too. I felt like any way I could possible help out, I was going to do that. It hit my heart.”
Scott died after being struck when someone fired more than 35 shots into her home at around 1:30 a.m. ET Sunday, police say. Her 18-year-old sister and an 11-year-old cousin also were wounded and remain hospitalized, the cousin in critical condition as of Thursday morning, the News reported.
The unidentified shooter remains at-large.
“Whoever did this needs to come forward and tell the truth,” Lawson said. “And whoever’s hiding, it’s wrong that you’re hiding. This is a little girl who is gone. It’s just pointless killing people, killing an innocent child. She was at home, a place (where) she was supposed to be safe”
Lawson played high school football in Central, South Carolina, north of Anderson, and went on to star at Clemson before becoming Buffalo’s top pick three years ago.