Rickey Smiley Says His 19-Year-Old Daughter Aaryn Underwent Surgery After Being Shot Multiple Times
By Rachel McRady
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The effects of gun violence have hit too close to home for Rickey Smiley. The 51-year-old comedian and radio show host of the Atlanta-based The Rickey Smiley Morning Show revealed some shocking news during Monday's show.
"I wasn't even going to say nothing about this. I've been dealing with this all morning, sitting up here with butterflies in my stomach trying to do a show. My youngest daughter was shot last night, Aaryn," the father of four said. "She's in the hospital right now."
He went on to reveal that Aaryn, 19, "was shot about twice," on Sunday night while visiting a Whataburger in Houston, Texas.
The Houston Police Department tells ET that police are investigating a shooting that took place at 8:45 p.m. on July 5. In addition to Aaryn, three other men were injured in the gunfire.
"The three men were in a vehicle at a stop light at the above address when an unknown vehicle passed them. The occupant(s) of the vehicle began shooting multiple times, wounding the three men," a representative said in a statement. "A female passenger in an unrelated vehicle was also struck."
"She's fine," Smiley insisted to his shocked co-hosts. "I'm just so angry right now."
Smiley, who was not in Houston at the time of the shooting, went on to explain how difficult the experience was for him as a parent, adding, "She's crying, she's scared. I can't get to her, and I just hate it."
Smiley went on to say he's an ardent supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, but expressed his frustration over gun violence that has attacked Black communities.
"I'm sitting up here, a gunshot victim myself, and it has shot one of my kids and I'm still up here fighting and praying for the rights of Black people and all of the parents that had to bury their loved ones due to gun violence in our own community by our own people," he said. "I'm absolutely disgusted."
He continued, "Forget me, think about all the parents that gotta go pick out a casket this morning."
Smiley said his daughter "could have died," noting, "If that bullet would have hit her in the chest it would have killed her."
Following his emotional radio reveal, Smiley gave even more detail in a YouTube video, saying his daughter was at a stoplight when "some guys got out of the car and were shooting at each other and she got hit twice."
He also took to Instagram to update his fans, revealing that Aaryn did undergo surgery following the shooting.
"My daughter made it out of her operation. She's doing great!! Thank you for your prayers!!!!" he wrote.
Aaryn, who goes by Ryn on social media, shared some updates of her own on Instagram. In one photo, a blood-covered car seat is pictured. "This is the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me," she captioned the photo. "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."
She added, "The fact that the bullets that went thru my legs were armored rifle bullets made to go through anything (how they got through the car) but one that would have hit me in the head was not that kind and ended up lodged in the car. God. Words can't describe how grateful I am to be alive right now."
She also posted about the fact that though her dad has traveled to Houston to be by her side, he's not allowed in the hospital room due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Scariest part of all of this is the fact that I'm alone," she wrote. "They won't let me see my parents or let anyone come in because of COVID. I'm terrified."