On Monday evening in Forest Park, Georgia, Shaniqua Stephens and her daughter were downstairs when they heard a loud gunshot coming from her 13-year-old son’s room. As she quickly sprinted upstairs, she was shocked to find Malachi Hemphill laying in his own blood.
“We kicked in the door. We found him just laying there in a pool of blood," Stephens told 11 Alive. "My daughter screamed and said, ‘Mom, turn his phone off!' As I proceeded to look at his phone he was on Instagram Live.”
Hemphill was playing around with a gun while streaming on Instagram Live. While he showed off the gun to his friends, the weapon fired. He was then transported to Grady Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Stephens said the friends who were watching immediately ran to their house after the accidental shooting.
“There was about 40 to 50 kids outside," Stephens 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.”
Stephens said before the gun went off, someone asked him why he didn’t have a clip.
“As he put the clip in the gun, that is when the gun went off,” she said.
According to Stephens, there was no gun in the house and she is unsure of how her son got the gun. She said Hemphill got the gun from a friend who claimed to have gotten it from another person.
Detectives are investigating the origin of the gun and how it came to be in Hemphill’s possession.
Stephens is sure the shooting was an accident and not a suicide. She said this incident has made her more aware of how important it is to keep a close eye on children.
“(The) detective asked me yesterday, ‘What was Malachi’s Instagram name?’ I couldn’t tell him what Malachi’s Instagram name was because he would make up so many different pages," Stephens said. "Monitor their phones, just monitor your children. More now than anything.”
Hemphill's death has inspired many to educate youth on safety and the importance of not putting yourself in harm's way to gain respect.
(Photo: Malachi Hemphill via Facebook)