SO tragic. Thirteen-year-old Malachi Hemphill accidentally killed himself on Instagram Live while he was showing a loaded gun off to his followers. Upon hearing the gunshot, his family kicked in his locked door to find the teen lying in his blood! Get the heartbreaking details here.
Our hearts are absolutely breaking for the family of Georgia teen Malachi Hemphill, 13. The boy was livestreaming a video via Instagram on the evening of Apr. 10 when he accidentally shot and killed himself. Malachi was rushed to Gracy Memorial Hospital in Atlanta after the gunshot was heard by his family, but he tragically was pronounced dead, news station WXIA reported.
“He was my only son. He was only just 13. Just the thought of me seeing him on the floor will never leave my brain,” Malachi’s mom, Shaniqua Stephens, told the news outlet. Her son was in his bedroom in Forest Park, Georgia when the gun went off. He was reportedly showing it off to friends while on Instagram Live. Viewers of the vid apparently told Malachi to put the safety clip on the gun but that it went off as he went to do so.
“I heard a big boom. I couldn’t tell if it was a gunshot or what,” Shaniqua recalled. She didn’t suspect her son could be shot, as she had just watched him take the trash out moments before. However, when she and her daughter ran up to his bedroom, his door was uncharacteristically locked.
“We kicked in the door. We found him just laying there in a pool of blood,” Shaniqua said. “My daughter screamed and said, ‘Mom, turn his phone off!’ As I proceeded to look at his phone, he was on Instagram Live.” Shaniqua said her son’s friends who had been watching the livestream ran over to their home after the gun went off.
“There was about 40 to 50 kids outside,” she said. “I guess these were the kids that were watching on Live that live in the area. I guess when it happened, they just ran over here.” Shaniqua told the channel she did not know how her son got ahold of the gun, and police are now investigating the matter. She also believes it was an accident, not suicide.
Either way though, the grieving mother urged parents to be vigilant about monitoring their children’s social media use. “It can happen to the best parents, it can happen to the best people. The best ones that loved their kids, you know?” Malachi’s stepfather Ernest Stephens said.
Our hearts go out to Malachi’s loved ones during this extremely difficult time. HollywoodLifers, please leave your condolences for his family below.