Accidental death claims the life of 13 year old Malachi Hemphill of Forest Park, GA.
On Friday, April 14, 2017 “friends” posted on social media in a matter of seconds, life to a graphic and upsetting turn for the worse.
The death of this child has spiraled in a media frenzy, making headlines nationwide. A group of friends stood by and saw the unfolding first-hand LIVE on Instagram.
According to Fox 5 Atlanta, Malachi Hemphill – stufent at Babb Middle School – had just taken the trash out for his mother. When he returned to his room, he locked his door. Then, the teen logged onto his Instagram account to live streem himself holding a gun in his room. Just moments after he started streaming, the unimaginable happened. During a new interview with 11 Alive, his mother Shaniqua Stephens recounting the sound of the gunshot she heard coming from her very own home. “I heard a big boom. I couldn’t tell if it was a gunshot or what,” Shaniqua exclaimed. “I just knew that it was something that was wrong.” Malachi Hemphill was streaming a video on Instagram Live when the gun went off. (INSTAGRAM)
Shaniqua and her daughter rushed upstairs to discover Malachi’s door locked. When they forced the door open, they made a harrowing discovery. “We kicked in the door. We found him just laying there in a pool of blood.” Stephens recounted. Her daughter also made another discovery. She noticed his phone was streaming. “My daughter screamed and said, “Mom turn his phone off!” As I proceeded to look at his phone he was on Instagram Live.”
According to several reports, an overwhelming number of Malachi’s friends witnessed the moments leading up to the shooting. Shortly after the shooting, others who lived nearby arrived at their home after witnessing the shooting. “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.”
Mourning the Death Of a Son: Needless to say, Shaniqua and her family are shocked and dismayed over Malachi’s untimely death. She also revealed the disturbing image of her son she’s been left with. “This is just a pain that will never go away,” she said. “He was my only son. He was just only 13. Just the thought of me seeing him on the floor will never leave my brain.”
Shaniqua Stephens and Malachi’s stepfather, Ernest Stephens are hoping their son’s tragic death saves the life of another child. She also has powerful words of advice for parents of other teens. “It can happen to the best parents…it can happen to the best people. The best ones that loved their kids, you know? “I just always let them know about situations and decisions,” Ernest said. The Forest Park Police Department has also released a public statement stressing the importance of monitoring children’s social media activity. The department admitted the tragedy has been difficult for everyone involved. The statement included a number of suggestions parents can take as protective measures to keep their children in the social media era. This is a horrific event for parents, children, and the police to deal with. We are asking parents to speak with their children about: The dangers of playing with guns, they are not toys. Telling a parent or other adult authority figure when they see or believe one of their friends has a gun they should not have. Telling or discouraging friends from playing with guns.
Parents should be aware of their children’s social media activities.
We are deeply saddened by this horrifying story. Our best to the families of the deceased!