A Georgia teenager’s friends watched as he accidentally killed himself while handling a gun on Instagram Live.
“I heard a big boom. I couldn’t tell if it was gun shot or what,” his mother, Shaniqua Stephens told WXIA. “I just knew that it was something that was wrong.”
“We kicked in the door. We found him just laying there in a pool of blood,” she said, noting her son had never locked the door to his bedroom in their Forest Park home.
My daughter screamed and said, ‘Mom! Turn his phone off! As I proceeded to look at his phone he was on Instagram Live.”
The 13-year-old had been live streaming a video on the social media site when the weapon went off. Those viewing the feed reportedly warned Malachi to put the safety clip on the gun, but it went off as he proceeded to do so.
Minutes after the accident, Malachi’s viewers rushed to Stephens’ home — about 40 to 50 kids filling their front yard, the news station reported.
Malachi was rushed to Grady Hospital where he later died from his gunshot wound.
“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.”
His mother believes it was an accident — not a suicide — and said she didn’t know how he got the gun. Detectives told her they’re investigating the incident and hope to learn who was initially in possession of the gun and how Malachi got his hands on it.
Stephens said both she and Malichi’s stepfather, Ernest Stephens, worked to keep an eye on their son’s social media activities and tried their best to keep tabs on him and his friends.
Sadly, Stephens said, outside influences can be difficult to control and at times can lead to tragedy, WXIA reported.
“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 explained. “Monitor their phones, just monitor your children. More than anything.”
Malachi’s stepfather added: “It can happen to the best of parents … it can happen to the best people. The best ones that loved their kids, you know?”