The 13-year-old who accidentally killed himself during a livestream was remembered fondly at a vigil Wednesday in his hometown of Forest Park, Gerogia, outside Atlanta. Malachi Hemphill had been showing off a gun as his friends watched him on Instagram Monday night when it discharged, fatally hitting him in the head. In an interview with Atlanta’s NBC 11 Alive, his mother Shaniqua Stephens said “My son was the light of my life – anybody whoever met him – [he] brought joy to everybody.”
Dozens of Malachi’s family and friends came together to comfort each other and remember a boy whose life ended much sooner than it should have. Friend Anthony Pennington said of Malachi, "He was everything; he was cool, chill, calm - all that." Another friend, Jaemere Bankston, told reporters
"When I heard he died, I cried for 3 hours straight.”
Shaniqua, who said she monitored her son’s social media accounts, is still not sure how the gun came into Malachi’s possession. Detectives continue to investigate the incident and are trying to find out where it came from. Following Malachi’s death, friends in the neighborhood who had been watching his livestream ran over to his house. Stephens hopes her son’s death can serve as an example for others. "If you see your friend with a gun, tell a parent,” she said. “Because this is a situation that didn't have to go this far."