Back-to-school celebration held for little boy blinded in Lexington shooting

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – A back-to-school bash was held in Lexington today to celebrate six-year-old Malakai Roberts’s recovery.

Roberts was left permanently blind after police say two young men fired 13 shots into a home on Catera Trace back in December.

18-year-old Teyo Waite was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault and two counts of wanton endangerment.

The second suspect, 19-year-old Michael Lemond, was charged with two counts of assault and two counts of wanton endangerment.

Police say the two were aiming for a target next door.

Despite his injuries, Roberts is recovering well and his story has reached people across the state.

“He’s so happy to be here. He wants to do everything. He wants to get his face painted, he wants to get in the bouncy house,” said family friend Kaylee Mackey.

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A typical back to school bash held to celebrate one young boy whose strength and perseverance has shown he’s anything but typical.

“No matter what happens in his life, he can still be the kid he was prior to the tragedy,” Mackey said.

Roberts was blinded after bullets were fired into his home just days before Christmas in 2020. Missing his brain by two centimeters. A friend of the family, Kaylee Mackey, has been there for Malakai and his mom, Cacy Roberts, over the past nine months.

“Nothing can bring him down. Once he realized this was going to be his life, he’s learning so quickly and adjusting so well.”

Malakai’s story has now even touched the hearts of strangers, like Cartia Cobbins, who organized a back-to-school bash for Malakai before she even met him.

“He just had surgery about two weeks ago. I reached out to his mom, I said ‘Are you sure he’s going to be ready for this event?’ She said, ‘Girl, I’m sure. He’s full of life. He’s going to be fine,” said Cobbins.

Cobbins wasn’t the only one moved to help the Roberts family. People from Georgetown to Morehead joined his family and friends in Lexington Sunday.

“He had no clue that when he woke up the next day, he wasn’t going to be able to see. That really pulled at me. You know, us adults, I don’t think we’re even as strong to be able to do what he’s doing.”

But as far as Malakai’s concerned, he’s a regular six-year-old, excited to play with his toy dinosaur and the dozens of new friends he’s made.

Cobbins said the Roberts family is still taking donations to help with medical expenses.

She said you can send donations to Cacy Roberts through her Cash App, $cacyr.

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