Boy blinded in drive-by shooting celebrated with back-to-school bash
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – In December, just days before Christmas, 5-year-old Malakai Roberts was shot in the temple during a drive-by shooting while sleeping in his bed. Miraculously, Malakai survived the shooting and is full of life, despite losing his eyesight.
Sunday afternoon, the community gathered to celebrate and support Malakai eight months after the Lexington shooting.
“I feel like with his situation he’s probably been all in the house, not being able to get out and get used to people because it might be some sensory issues or whatever,” says family friend and one of the event organizers, Cartia Cobbins. “So now that we’ve been slowly, gradually getting out, he’s back to school, I figured let’s just get the community involved and the kids, all for him.”
The back-to-school bash featured a DJ, school supply backpacks, dental kits, food, face painting and bounce houses. Malakai says he was most excited to be with his friends, play with toys and bounce in the bounce house.
Malakai’s mom, Cacy, says she reads him the messages and comments he gets on Facebook, which he loves to hear.
“He’s a people person, so he absolutely soaks it all in, he loves it,” says Cacy.
Malakai’s story has touched people who don’t personally know him or the family and Sunday gave them an opportunity to come together and do something to honor a strong little boy.
“When tragedies happen in Lexington, they affect us all, it doesn’t matter what school we go to , they affect all the kids,” says Cobbins.
“When I met him I just, you know I teared up,” says DJ Larry the Legend. “He’s walking, he’s talking, he’s here with us and that dude, he’s my hero.”
Malakai has inspired many people with his strength and zest for life.
“He’s just always so upbeat and happy like nothing can bring him down,” says Kaylee Mackey, a family friend.