WASHINGTON: A 13-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed himself live on Instagram as his friends watched in horror. Malachi Hemphill of Forest Park, Georgia, was found unconscious by his mother Shaniqua Stephens and her daughter after they heard a loud bang from his bedroom.
"I heard a big boom. I couldn't tell if it was a gunshot or what. I just knew that it was something that was wrong," the boy's mother Shaniqua Stephens told WXIA-TV. She and her daughter ran upstairs and found him. "We kicked in the door. We found him just laying there in a pool of blood," Stephens recounted.
"My daughter screamed and said, 'Mom turn his phone off!' As I proceeded to look at his phone he was on Instagram Live," she said. Hemphill was live on the social media site Instagram handling the gun when it went off. He was rushed to Grady Hospital where he died. "This is just a pain that will never go away. He was my only son. He was just 13. Just the thought of me seeing him on the floor will never leave my brain," she said.
Stephens said it was an accident and not an intentional suicide. Several of his friends were watching when the shooting happened last Monday. Stephens said they rushed to her house afterward. "There was about 40 to 50 kids outside. I guess these were the kids that were watching on live in the area. I guess when it happened they just ran over here," she said.
She has been told that someone asked why he did not have a clip in the gun and told him to put a clip in the gun. "As he put the clip in the gun, that is when the gun went off," Stephens said. Stephens, however, was not completely sure how Malachi got the gun. She was told he got the gun from a friend who got it from someone else. She said it was hard to keep track of his activities on social media even though she and her husband Ernest monitored his profiles often. She said she hopes parents get the message to keep a vigilant eye on what children are doing and who they are doing it with.