T.D. Jakes to Deliver Atatiana Jefferson’s Eulogy; Funeral Covered by Former Maverick Harrison Barnes and Philadelphia Eagle Malik Jackson

Rev. Al Sharpton expected to speak at slain Fort Worth woman's funeral; former Dallas Maverick and current Philadelphia Eagle pick up the cost

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NBC 5 News

T.D. Jakes will deliver the eulogy for Atatiana Jefferson Saturday and two professional athletes are picking up the tab for her funeral, the church says.

Former Dallas Mavericks player Harrison Barnes is paying for more than half of the funeral expenses, and Philadelphia Eagles player Malik Jackson will pay for the remainder.

Jefferson is the Fort Worth woman fatally shot in her own home last Saturday as a police officer investigated an open structure call at her home. The officer who shot Jefferson, Aaron Dean, resigned and was later arrested on a murder charge.

Jefferson's funeral will be held at The Potter's House of Dallas at 2 p.m. Saturday. Jakes will deliver the eulogy and Rev. Al Sharpton is expected to give special remarks. NBC 5 has learned that former Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes, who is now with the Sacramento Kings, made arrangements to cover most of the financial cost of the funeral on Wednesday.

My wife and I want to do something for that family," Barnes told NBC Sports reporter James Ham. "It's a tragic situation that happened. No one should be killed during a wellness check, but the biggest thing is any time someone has to go through that, the last thing you want to have to worry about is trying to come up with the money, you know, for a funeral." 
Barnes spoke about his involvement with the family of Atatiana Jefferson, saying "It was supposed to be more of a low-key thing, you know. Us just letting them know that someone out there, we care about you guys and want you guys to be alright. They're going through that process right now and we are just giving them space, respectfully."

"My wife and I want to do something for that family," Barnes told NBC Sports reporter James Ham. "It's a tragic situation that happened. No one should be killed during a wellness check, but the biggest thing is any time someone has to go through that, the last thing you want to have to worry about is trying to come up with the money, you know, for a funeral." 

Barnes spoke about his involvement with the family of Atatiana Jefferson, saying "It was supposed to be more of a low-key thing, you know. Us just letting them know that someone out there, we care about you guys and want you guys to be alright. They're going through that process right now and we are just giving them space, respectfully."

The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday that Eagles player Malik Jackson will pay for the rest of the funeral expenses. 

"While her heartbreaking and untimely death has captured the nation's attention, the funeral will pay tribute to her life as a loving daughter, sister and aunt," the church said in a news release.

"It is clear that the atrocity of this shooting opens up deep wounds that preceded this recent murder case that resonates far beyond our community," Jakes said in a statement. "As a resident of Fort Worth myself, I understand the pain and anger associated with this tragic loss, However, the family has asked that the funeral not be overshadowed by her death but rather that the legacy of Atatiana Jefferson be honored and celebrated for the fullness of her life."

The funeral is open to the public and organizers said anyone who wishes to pay their respects is welcome to attend.

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