Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O'Neal teamed up with executives from Papa John's to provide a home for the family of Isaiah Payton, who was paralyzed after being shot at a high school football game.
Payton's family was living in a one-bedroom apartment that was not accessible for people with disabilities. Payton, 12, was hit in the spine by a stray bullet and is paralyzed from the chest down.
He has been in the hospital since the Aug. 17 shooting, which occurred after a game between George Washington Carver and Benjamin E. Mays high schools at Lakewood Stadium near downtown Atlanta.
Damean Spear, 15, also was shot in the leg during the incident, but has been released from the hospital. O'Neal told WXIA Thursday that he learned Payton could not be released from the hospital because his home wasn't equipped for him after his injuries.
"We found [Payton's mother] a house," O'Neal said. "I'm going to pay her rent for the year and I'm going to give her some furniture and it's sad because her son is paralyzed from the chest down and no mother should have to go to that."
O'Neal -- who has an estimated net worth of $400 million -- has been an advocate against gun-related violence and paid for several funerals in the past for teenage victims of shootings. The Hall of Famer is teaming up with Papa John's CEO Roby Lynch and chairman of the board Jeff Smith for Payton's new home.
"I was watching the story and it's just sad," O'Neal said. "It could have been any one of us. It could have been my son. It could've been your cousin and she was living in a one-bedroom house with her two boys so we found her a one-bedroom house in College Park. Nice area.
"I'm going to get her some ring cameras on me. We're going to give her some furniture, TVs and pay her rent off for a year and help her get on her feet."
Atlanta police arrested a 15-year-old boy Tuesday in connection with the shooting. He is being charged with aggravated assault. Police are still looking for another shooter.
"This was a reckless, heartless and cowardly act of violence that forever changed the life of a 12-year-old child and his family and deeply affected another juvenile," Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said in a news release.
"Our investigators have worked relentlessly to make this arrest. I'm immensely proud of their determination in getting this individual off of the street and look forward to them finding the other shooter."