Slain TikTok Star Swavy's Family Seeks 'Justice,' as Wendy Williams Faces Backlash for Comments

Swavy, born Matima Miller, died on Monday in a "senseless act of gun violence"

Photo: Swavy/Instagram

Swavy's family is calling for "justice" after the 19-year-old TikTok star was fatally shot in Delaware earlier this week.

Swavy, born Matima Miller, died on Monday in a "senseless act of gun violence," the dancer's family said in a statement released on his Instagram.

The teen had a huge following on both TikTok under the handle @babyface.s and on Instagram. Swavy's videos of him performing dance routines in public spaces like the mall enthralled his millions of followers.

The incident occurred around 10:42 a.m. in Wilmington, according to a news release from the city's police department. Swavy died of his injuries after he was transported to a local hospital, police said.

"It is with great sadness that we announce Swavy's passing on 07/05/2021," Swavy's family said in their statement. "He was taken away from us due to a senseless act of gun."

Though the family could not provide additional information about the teen's death "due to legality," they said that they are "working diligently to get justice for Swavy."

"This is just the beginning, we will forever keep his name alive and continue his legacy!" their statement read. "The impact he had on others remains unmatched."

A spokesperson for the Wilmington Police Department tells PEOPLE on Friday that an investigation into ongoing.


In the wake of the shooting, talk show host Wendy Williams is facing backlash over her coverage of Swavy's death.

During Wednesday's episode of The Wendy Williams Show, the 56-year-old TV personality commented that she had "no idea" who Swavy was and compared their social media followings.

"I have no idea who this is," she began the segment. "Neither does one person in this building."

After asking her audience to clap if they had heard of Swavy, Williams said, "He's a TikTok star. He's got more followers than me — 2.5 million."

Swavy, <a href="" data-inlink="true">Wendy Williams</a>
Swavy/Instagram; Paras Griffin/Getty

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Williams then explained that she doesn't use TikTok before sharing news that Swavy had been murdered.

"Aw, all those followers," she said. "Yeah, that's really tragic."

Listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day for more on the backlash Wendy Williams is receiving following the comments she made about Swavy's death.

After the broadcast, many viewers expressed their shock on social media at how Williams covered Swavy's death. Williams' name began trending on Twitter on Friday after a clip of the segment went viral.

A representative for Williams did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Swavy's family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to cover funeral costs. As of Friday, it has raised over $22,000.

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