Loved ones say 10-year-old shot at birthday party still in critical condition but remains strong

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Malachi Smith, 10, remains in critical condition at the hospital, but family and friends tell News 3’s Aleah Hordges that he’s remaining strong.

Police found Smith shot in the head at a birthday party around 8 p.m on June 6.

News 3 spoke with Smith’s God mother Toni Eckert and family friend Samantha Baines. Both were not at the birthday party or their children.

They mentioned the gun violence has to stop although Smith wasn’t the intended target.

“They’re killing our future; that’s about what I can say,” said family friend Samantha Baines. “They’re killing our children. I have three children of my own. My son being in the Cub Scouts with Malachi, he of course had nightmares that night.”

Smith’s godmother, Toni Eckert, told News 3, “As a parent I can only imagine if my child was playing right next to him when this happened.”

Vigil for Malachi Smith

Police found the victim shot in the head outside an apartment building on Crescent Way.

He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Officers also said a 42-year-old man was shot in the leg at the party and was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The community rallied behind Smith in the neighborhood where the shooting happened on Friday.

Many people drew blue hearts on the back of their hands and held blue and gold balloons.

Those who know the young boy said blue is his favorite color and he has a heart of gold.

“That’s towards everybody no matter what. He’s just an all-around 100% great kid,” Baines said.

Both of Smith’s parents are taking time off work to be by his side at the hospital. A GoFundMe has been set up to help with medical costs.

“Right now they’re not working so they need money for everyday things that all of us do,” Eckert. “On top of that they need transportation. We’re in Newport News; he’s in CHKD so it’s the commute, the tolls if they go through that way, it’s just everything.”

Smith’s family said he has another surgery to go through so the fight isn’t over.

They’re asking for people to continue praying for Smith.