A 13-year-old boy is dead after a senseless tragedy — that many of his friends had to watch.
According to eyewitnesses, Forest Park, Georgia native Malachi Hemphill was showing off a handgun to some friends on Instagram Live when it accidentally went off, shooting him in the head.
His mother, Shaniqua Stephens, told NBC11 the family heard the shot from the other room:
"We kicked in the door. We found him just laying there in a pool of blood. My daughter screamed and said, ‘Mom turn his phone off!’ As I proceeded to look at his phone he was on Instagram Live."
Malachi was rushed to Grady Hospital, but unfortunately there was nothing that could be done. He died from his injuries.
His mother opened up about the heartbreak, saying:
"This is just a pain that will never go away. 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 is sure this was an accident and that Malachi did not commit suicide. She says his friends who were watching told her he was just showing off the weapon harmlessly, until someone told him to load it:
"As he put the clip in the gun, that is when the gun went off."
So sad. So senseless.
Authorities are tracking where the teen got the pistol; it’s currently believed he traded a cell phone to a friend for it a few days earlier.
The fact is, it’s all too easy for anyone to get their hands on guns. NRA lobbyists and their political shills have made sure of that.
Forest Park Police want to send a message to everyone to learn from this tragedy:
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.
Stay safe out there, everyone.