13-Year-Old Accidentally Shoots Himself on Instagram Live - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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13-Year-Old Accidentally Shoots Himself on Instagram Live

Shaniqua Stephens said her son’s death was an accident and not an intentional suicide

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Family and friends mourn the loss of 13-year-old Malachi Hemphill who accidentally shot himself while handling a gun while streamling live on Instagram. (Published Thursday, April 13, 2017)

    Family and friends are mourning the loss of a 13-year-old boy who died after he accidentally shot himself Monday evening while handling a gun on Instagram Live, as friends watched in horror.

    A Georgia woman, Shaniqua Stephens, had just watched her son, Malachi Hemphill, take out the trash when she heard the bang.

    “I heard a big boom," Stephens told NBC affiliate WXIA. "I couldn’t tell if it was a gun shot or what.”

    She and her daughter immediately ran upstairs in their Forest Park home and found Malachi.

    “We kicked in the door and 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."

    The teen was rushed to Grady Hospital, where he died.

    "This is just a pain that will never go away," Stephens 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."

    About 200 friends and family attended a candlelight vigil in memory of Malachi on Thursday, NBC News reported.

    Stephens said her son’s death was an accident and not an intentional suicide.

    About 40-50 people were watching Malachi's Instagram video. According to Stephens, someone asked the teen why he didn’t he a clip in the gun he was holding, and the person then suggested Malachi put one in.

    “As he put the clip in the gun, that is when the gun went off,” she said.

    Stephens added that several of his friends who saw the video rushed over to her home shortly after.

    The teen’s mother says she hopes this tragedy will be a lesson for others.

    "You see your friend with a gun, tell a parent because this is a situation that didn't have to go this far," Stephens pleaded.

    Detectives are investigating the teen’s death and are working to find out how he got the gun. They said there are no signs that point to suicide.