Ezekiel Elliott offers to pay for funeral for slain Belleville football player

Jaylon Mc Kenzie

Jaylon Mc Kenzie

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will pay for the funeral expenses for Jaylon McKenzie, an eighth-grade football phenom, who was killed on Saturday in Venice, Ill., according to multiple reports.

Though his mother, Sukeena Gunner, said she and McKenzie usually were traveling on weekends because of his sports schedule, May was a slower month.

Elliott, who grew up in the St. Louis area, reportedly wanted to pay for McKenzie's funeral as friends and family look to remember the 14-year-old star. "Jaylen loved Ezekiel Elliott. Just for him to reach out to me and help me in this hard time leaves me speechless".

The news was first reported by 105.3 The Fan's Mike Fisher and Justina Coronel of KSDK-TV in St. Louis. He was one of six teenagers included in the piece. Gunner told KSDK that three other National Football League players have also reached out.

The 15-year-old was headed for a bright future on the field and already had been offered scholarships by Missouri and IL.

McKenzie, a 14-year-old football star who had already received offers from Missouri and IL, was one of several teenagers profiled in Sports Illustrated's "Future" issue last November.

Gunner said a fight had broken out at the party, and that McKenzie was trying to leave when shots were fired. A 15-year-old girl was also struck and is still hospitalized.

"I just started screaming", Gunner told CNN. "I just prayed and asked the Lord not to take my baby".

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