Former NBA star Shaq assisted Georgia police by contributing $5,000 to a $30,000 reward for information that could help in the arrest of a suspect accused of fatally shooting a police officer.
The reward eventually accumulated to $70,000 in donations from the Henry County Police Department and Crime Stoppers Atlanta.
The suspect, 22-year-old Jordan Jackson, was accused of shooting Henry County Officer Paramhans Desai during a domestic disturbance call before fleeing in a white Honda Civic and eventually committing suicide as police closed in on him.
It is not clear if anyone is eligible for the money.
Desai, 38, was shot multiple times and remained in critical condition for several days before dying in hospital. He was a 17-year-veteran and a father of two children.
According to Henry County Sheriff Reginald Scandrett, Desai was shot multiple times after confronting Jackson.
“The suspect pulled away and produced a handgun and allegedly shot the officer multiple times resulting in serious injuries,” he said.
“Let this be a warning and reminder to anyone contemplating any crime let alone a crime of this magnitude where it involves one of our own,” Henry Sheriff Reginald Scandrett said in an email statement. “It doesn’t matter how many days it takes, how much sleep we lose, we will hunt you down and find you. To the family of Officer Desai, this will not take away the pain but, hopefully, they can get some rest and start the healing process.”
Desai is the seventh Georgia officer killed in the line of duty this year, and the fifth officer to be killed with the Henry County Police Department.
Desai’s sister has set up a GoFundMe page for the family. In it, she wrote that her brother always wanted to be a police officer since he was a young child.
“There is always a cost to pay when you pursue a dream, a passion,” his sister wrote. “And my brother was willing to pay that price to become a police officer. He often said he wanted to die as a cop and that’s how his journey ended.”
Jackson’s body was found by police with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head in an apartment unit on the 6700 block of Church Street after SWAT Unit and U.S. Marshall’s Service officers evacuated the building and entered the apartment.
According to Fox 5, Shaquille O’Neal joined the Henry County Sheriff’s Office earlier this year as its director of community relations.