Community remembers Malik Mallet

Community remembers Malik MalletBy BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer

The community mourns the loss of 21-year-old Malik Mallet, who died in a fatal stabbing over the weekend according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the KCSO press release, deputies requested Ridgecrest Police Department officers to assist with multiple stabbing victims at a party in the 1500 block of West Dolphin Avenue, which is in the county’s jurisdiction.

Officers learned that two victims were already on their way to the hospital while another, Malik, was still on the scene with a stab wound to the chest. He died at the hospital.

At press time, the sheriff’s office had detained suspects, but had made no arrests, and the case was being sent to the district attorney’s office for review.

It was unclear if the stabbing suspects were the initial aggressors during the confrontation, but according to eyewitnesses, Malik got involved only to break up the fight.

“He was always trying to help. That’s just the type of person he was,” said Malik’s father Reese Hogg. “If you were in a bad situation, he was going to help you whether you wanted him to or not.

While Malik’s time on this earth was cut short, an outpouring of loving words and precious memories are a testament to the impact that he left on Ridgecrest’s youth.

“Malik made it a point to connect with and love everyone he came into contact with,” said friend Jordon via Facebook.

“I never once felt uneasy or distant in his presence and I’m sure most people that read this will share that feeling…We will carry him with us throughout our lives and pass on small pieces of him as we go.”

A singer and multi-instrumentalist, Malik was widely known in local music circles and built many relationships through his love of music.

“He had a smooth and sweet R&B voice and piano style that I’ve yet to hear in anybody else,” said another friend, Alex. “One that you knew would take him far in life. His performances always left me in awe.”

“I knew Malik as the excellent musician that he was,” said his friend Elvis. “He was the sweetest, nicest guy and someone I greatly looked up to.”

His father Reese said he’s receiving messages from countless friends to Malik — people he’s never met — about how they were touched by him in one way or another.

“He planted a lot of seeds,” said Reese. “The impact of his life has become a ministry.”

Malik, an aspiring hip-hop artist, always had a propensity for music according to his father.

“He loved music, regardless of what kind of music it was,” said Reese. “He would play his concert pieces with just as much passion as jazz and gospel.

“He wanted to do everything with music. Choir, band, trumpet, drums, piano…he did it all.

Also an accomplished musician, Reese helped cultivate his son’s passion by inviting him into his studio at a young age and playing together during worship at Victory Baptist Church.

“He played the drums with me in church, mostly out of necessity. But it was always moving to hear Malik sing,” he said. “He was just such a passionate person.

“He wanted to be a rapper. I wanted him to do jazz, and I told him rapping was for people that didn’t know how to sing," he chuckled. "But it was what he wanted to do.”

Aside from his musical endeavors, Malik was also involved in several athletic programs. From a young age and through high school,he played basketball, football and he wrestled -- as long as he was maintaining a 3.0 grade point average.

"The school only requires a 2.0, but the rule in our house has always been a 3.0," said Reese.

Malik could always make his teammates laugh and he was always quick to make friends with everyone he spent his time with, said his father.

And Malik also had a history of jumping in a situation to help people.

When he was 7 years old and living in Chicago with his mother, he was honored by the city for saving a little girl from drowning in a public pool.

Reese said he was approached by one of the young men involved in the confrontation that resulted in Malik’s Death. He said that he could have been killed had Malik not stepped in to intervene.

“He was a hero. It’s just the way that he was,” said Reese.

Reese said one of the reasons he moved his wife, Miriam, and her children to Ridgecrest was to avoid the crime and violence in the Chicago area.

“This is the kind of thing you don’t want to happen to anyone,” said Reese. “I’ve spent years as a youth pastor making sure this type of thing doesn’t happen to other kids… and here it happens to my son, in Ridgecrest. It doesn’t need to happen again.

“I really hope that out of all of this, there can be some healing for the young people in Ridgecrest. Kids need to take a second look at where they’re headed and ask if the things they are doing mean more than their future. That’s what I’m praying for.”

Reese said he is thankful for the relationship he had with his son, even when things were tough and he didn’t feel his son was making the best choices.

“Sometimes he was doing things I didn’t approve of. And I’d even get really disappointed,” he said. “But then he’d call me and say ‘Dad, I’ve got this friend that really needs to talk with you. He could really use some strong spiritual advice.’

“We loved each other. He always said, ‘I love you Dad,’ and ‘I love you Mom.’ And we always said we loved him.”

It didn’t go unnoticed that some of Malik’s final words on social media, just days before his death, were “God is real. And nothing short of amazing.”

“His last week was a tough one,” said Reese.

“There was a lot changing for him and he had some things hanging over his head … but he had a breakthrough and he ‘went to God before he went to God.’ He wanted to give his life to God and be baptized when he was 7. But I think he was closer to God than he had ever been that week.

“He was an amazing kid. Sometimes as a parent, you’re busy making sure your kids are going in the right direction. But if you’re too focused on the future, you might miss some things. I’m grateful for the time we had with him.”

The family is arranging services for Malik in Ridgecrest and in Chicago. A Ridgecrest memorial service is Saturday, Aug. 12, 11 a.m. at Desert Christian Center.

Pictured: Malik and his parents, Miriam Hogg and Reese Hogg. -- Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2017-08-04