Counting his blessings. Comedian Rickey Smiley revealed that his daughter Aaryn, 19, was shot three times in Houston over 4th of July weekend.
“I wasn’t even going to say anything about this. I’ve been dealing with this all morning, sitting up here with butterflies in my stomach trying to do the show. My youngest daughter was shot last night,” Smiley, 51, said on the Monday, July 6, episode of the Rickey Smiley Morning Show. “She’s in the hospital right now.”
The Alabama native struggled to hold back tears as he described the events of the previous night. “I’m just so angry right now,” he said. “I go to bed … I woke up to text messages. I’ve got to do the show, I’m trying to focus and trying to do the show. … She’s laying up in the hospital, probably going to have to go through surgery. She’s crying, she’s scared. I can’t get to her. I just hate it.”
Earlier in the show, the radio hosts discussed a handful of tragic shootings that took place over the holiday weekend, including those of young kids in Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama. Despite his fear for his daughter — and the challenge of finding safe flights during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — Smiley admitted that he felt lucky that he was privileged enough to be able to go visit her in the hospital.
“I get the luxury of going to the hospital, even if they don’t let me upstairs to see her,” he said. “I get to wait in the lobby until the doctor comes down. … But just think about all the parents — forget me — think about all the parents that had to go pick out a casket this morning.”
Later that day, Smiley shared a video on Instagram and said he “can’t imagine” the pain other parents have felt after their children have been killed by gunfire. “I’m grateful,” he added. “I’m more than grateful that my daughter is alive.”
Aaryn, who celebrated her 19th birthday just days before the encounter, described the shooting in a series of graphic Instagram Stories on Monday.
“This is the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me,” she wrote alongside a photo of a bloodstained passenger seat. “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. … God. Words can’t describe how grateful i am to be alive right now.”
Smiley later thanked his fans for their prayers, reassuring his Instagram followers that his daughter “made it out of her operation” and is “doing great.”