Friends and family gathered around on Wednesday night in Forest Park, Georgia, to remember the boy who accidentally shot himself while streaming live on Instagram. Friends and family alike shed tears, lit candles, and released balloons in honor of the teen.
NBC 11 Alive reports that 13-year-old Malachi Hemphill accidentally shot himself in the head while showing off a gun on Instagram Live on Monday evening. His mother, Shaniqua Stephens, found him minutes later, laying in a pool of blood on his bedroom floor. He was rushed to a hospital, where he died.
ORIGINAL Story: Teen accidentally shoots himself to death while on Instagram Live
While police continue to investigate how and where Malachi gained access to the gun, Stephens is trying to come to grips with the unexpected loss of a son she described as “the light of her life.”
“Nobody ever expects their son to shoot theirself…To find your 13-year-old son on the floor with a gunshot in his head, that’s something you just never forget..My son was the light of my life – anybody whoever met him – [he] brought joy to everybody.”
Friends remembered Malachi for his easy-going personality. Student and friend Anthony Pennington referred to the 13-year-old as “chill.”
“He was everything; he was cool, chill, calm – all that.”
Another friend, Jaemere Bankston, said he cried for at least three hours when he heard Malachi had passed away.
Police in Forest Park, Ga., are trying to trace where Malachi Nasir Hemphill got the 9 mm… https://t.co/dvctYTlp3b
— mousefide (@mousefide) April 14, 2017
Meanwhile, Stephens hopes the tragedy will help others before it’s too late. She urges kids to tell an adult if they see another kid with a gun.
“If you see your friend with a gun, tell a parent. Because this is a situation that didn’t have to go this far.”
Stephens isn’t sure how Malachi got the gun, a 9 mm Hi-Point semi-automatic pistol. Authorities said that whoever gave Malachi the gun could face criminal charges.
[Feature Photo: Instagram]