Atlanta, GA - Malachi Hemphill, a 13-year-old Atlanta boy, shot himself accidentally on Monday evening while his friends watched on Instagram Live.
According to Fox 59, Malachi's mother Shaniqua Stephens said that he had just taken the trash out. She said that she "heard a big boom", and that "she couldn't tell if it was a gun shot or what."
She rushed upstairs with her daughter to find the door to her son's bedroom locked. She kicked it in and found Malachi lying in a pool of blood. Speaking to reporters, she said that she would never get the image out of her mind.
Her daughter screamed and told her to turn the phone off, and when she did so, she realized that it was still streaming Instagram Live.
Apparently the teen was holding a gun when it suddenly went off. He accidentally shot himself once in the head and was transported to Grady Hospital where he died.
His mother said that there were about 40-50 kids outside after she found her son, and that they apparently were watching Instagram Live, and had rushed over when the shooting occurred. During the live stream, someone told Malachi to put a clip in the gun during the live video and he did. The shooting appears to be entirely accidental, not a suicide.
Atlanta police detectives are conducting an investigation including how Malachi obtained the gun. There is no information that suggests that the gun came from their household.
His grieving mother is now urging parents to keep an eye on what their children are doing. She said "monitor their phones, but monitor your children. now more than anything."
This event serves as a tragic reminder that all gun owners need to be responsible in securing their firearms.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Shaniqua Stephens and her family.