Shaq Helping Family of Boy Paralyzed in Shooting

Teen arrested, second suspect sought

October 18, 2019
NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal visits paralyzed shooting victim Isaiah Payton at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

(Photo Credit: Shanae Hall/@shanaeyh)

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"At first, I thought he was a big tall janitor" is what 12 year old Isaiah Payton said after meeting Shaquille O'Neal. The former NBA superstar was at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta to visit Payton, who was paralyzed when he was shot while leaving a high school football game at Lakewood Stadium in August. O'Neal, along with the CEO and chairman of Papa John's, will help pay for a year of furniture and rent at the family's new metro Atlanta home, one that is disabled-equipped. The basketball legend and NBA commentator owns 9 pizza eateries in metro Atlanta.

Isaiah's family is also hoping that a gofundme account will help with expenses. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward in the case.

When I spoke with Allison Woods, she said that she didn't understand why someone would shoot her 12 year old son and another teenager. Payton was left paralyzed,  the other teen was treated and released. This week, police announced the arrest of a 15 year old in connection with the shooting. They say they're looking for a second suspect.

My conversation with Woods and Crime Stoppers Director Sgt. Ronald Paxson was before the arrest and prior to O'Neal stepping in to help the family.