A 13-year-old boy was found dead by his mother on Monday evening after accidentally shooting himself while streaming on Instagram Live.
Malachi Hemphill was streaming on the photo-sharing site, showing his friends a gun that was in his possession. It was unloaded, so one of the viewers asked why there was no magazine in it. After loading the gun following instruction from his viewers, he accidentally shot himself.
“I heard a big boom. I couldn’t tell if it was a gunshot or what,” Shaniqua Stephens, his mother, told 11 Alive Atlanta. She had just watched her son take out the trash when she heard the noise. Running upstairs with her daughter, they found him “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,” Stephens recounted. Hemphill was rushed to Grady Hospital, but it was too late. “This is just a pain that will never go away,” she 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.”
After returning home, several of his friends were outside the house. “There was about 40 to 50 kids outside,” Stephens said. “I guess these were the kids that were watching on live that live in the area. I guess when it happened they just ran over here.”
It is unclear how Hemphill came to have the gun on him. He was allegedly handed the gun by a friend; police are looking into where the gun came from originally.
This is not the first time a death has been streamed live on the internet using social media. In January, an Arkansas woman collapsed and died in front of her children while video livestreaming on Facebook. In December, a 12-year-old in Georgia hanged herself on Facebook live.