Though Rickey Smiley is known for lifting everyone else’s spirits with laughter, today the comedian and radio host is being lifted in prayer after he announced his youngest daughter Aaryn Smiley had been shot three times in Houston. He first spoke about it on his popular “Rickey Smiley Morning Show,” then elaborated in a Facebook Live video Monday morning.
In the video Smiley breaks down crying while he’s trying to pack to take a flight to Dallas, then drive to Houston where Aaryn, 19, was in surgery. According to Smiley, Aaryn was on her way to get food at Whataburger when the shooting happened.
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“I’m trying to pack a bag. I got these real sick, deep butterflies in my stomach. I can’t even get my clothes together. I just don’t know, I ain’t never … , ” Smiley said in the video. “I can’t imagine what parents have to go through whose child has been killed. You know I just hate it. All the parents that have to bury their kids, just make sure you pray for them. [It’s] the only thing you can do.”
A gun violence survivor himself, Smiley has long been outspoken about the need to end gun violence. He reiterated the plea, with it now being unfortunately all too personal all over again.
“[I] can’t think straight … my daughter in surgery, can’t even get to her. We got to stop gun violence. Parents shouldn’t have to go through this. My daughter ain’t in no gang, she ain’t did nothing wrong, she don’t bother anybody,” Smiley said before falling to his knees in grief.
“I’m not crying just because, I’m just upset because the violence that we do to each other, the stuff that y’all sit up here and put families through,” Smiley said. “So if I feel the way that I feel, just imagine somebody that got to go to the cemetery, imagine how they feel. I’m so mad right now I don’t know what to do.”
Smiley said in addition to his daughter, the shooter wounded three other people.
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“The reason I’m on Facebook Live is because I just want you to see that it’s raw and it’s real. I want you to see what parents have to deal with when their children become victims of gun violence – the raw feeling, the sh*t you have to go through,” Smiley said.
Aaryn gave users an update on her condition in her Instagram stories. She said her injuries were not life threatening, but she would be unable to walk for some time.
”This is the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me. I won’t be out of the hospital for a while, nor will I be able to walk for a while due to nerve damage,” Aaryn wrote, along with a photo of the blood stained car seat she was in.
She gave her apologies for not being able to respond to everyone but said she was “thankful for all of the messages.”
She added the bullet that would have hit her in the head got lodged in the seat and gave God praise for sparing her life.
“God. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to be alive right now,” Aaryn posted.
Smiley praised God none of the victims died In his video and said he was “grateful this morning … more than grateful that my daughter is alive.” He also asked users to pray for the other victims and their families.
Users on social media sent their love, prayers and condolences.
“I rock wit @RickeySmiley he always speaking for the people. I’m praying for all the parents that lost a child this weekend to senseless violence. #WeHaveToDoBetter,” user Georgia Boy Trav tweeted.
“Omg this is so horrible and unbelievable. I’m am so sorry to hear this. Omg I’m praying so hard for you and all the families,” Deidra Bann commented in the video on Facebook.
“Praying for a full and complete recovery for @aarynsmiley, and praying for your strength, @RickeySmiley,” user Ron Cornelous tweeted.
“I’m sitting here watching you can’t stop crying so I know how you and her mom feels be strong [Prayers] are with everyone,” Gem Melton wrote.
Smiley thanked fans for their outpouring of support on Twitter Monday morning and thanked God for protecting his daughter.
He also urged his followers to support gun violence initiatives in their communities.
“Anybody got anything going on in the community that’s but gun violence in our own community make sure y’all support it because I tell you just because your kid in college and doing everything right don’t mean they won’t become a victim of gun violence,” Smiley said. “Go out and support everything you can support. … I hope you go look at Keisha Lance Bottoms’ video, the video she made last night. Can’t blame this sh*t on the police.”
He reiterated that Black Lives matter period and criticized those perpetrating Black on Black crime.
“Our community matters. People scared to go somewhere and you’re embarrassing all of us that’s out here standing side by side with Black Lives Matter. You’re embarrassing us. You’re making it hard for us – and I say us, I don’t even say them because I’m a part of the movement. I support it, us. A complete embarrassment,” Smiley said.
This is a developing story.