Atlanta teen accidentally kills himself on Instagram Live

Malachi Hemphill, 13, died after shooting himself on Instagram Live. His mother told WXIA the shooting was accidental.

ATLANTA (WCBD) — A teenager accidentally killed himself in Atlanta, Georgia while he was live-streaming on the social media site Instagram.

Shaniqua Stephens had just watched her 13-year-old son take out the trash Monday evening when she heard a noise. She and her daughter rushed up upstairs and found him. “To find your 13-year-old son on the floor with a gunshot in his head, that’s something you just never forget,” Stephens said to WXIA.

Malachi Hemphill was live on Instagram handling the gun when it went off. He was rushed to Grady Hospital where he died. “You never forget the image,” Stephens added.

According to the Atlanta NBC affiliate, several friends watching the live feed rushed to his house after witnessing the incident. Stephens said someone told her the firearm went off as the 13-year-old was putting a clip in it.

Hemphill’s mom is now asking parents to keep an eye on their children’s internet activities after she was unable to even tell the police what Malachi’s Instagram screen name. “ I couldn’t tell him what Malachi’s Instagram name was because he would make up so many different pages,” Stephens said. “Monitor their phones, just monitor your children. More now than anything.”

Detectives are now working to determine who originally had the gun.

“My son was the light of my life – anybody whoever met him – [he] brought joy to everybody,” Stephens said Wednesday night at a prayer vigil. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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