Malone makes monumental return to Panther Stadium after domestic violence attack


Panther receiver De’Vante Smith unites with his cousin Storm Malone and grandmother Lurlean Smith on the sidelines prior to the varsity game with Mansfield. De’Vante later accompanied Malone onto the field for the coin toss. Devante was with his grandmother when they found Malone with a gunshot wound and his mother Toya Smith and sister Tasmia Allen lifeless in their home in August from a domestic violence attack. (Olivia Davila photo)

Taking a hold of his nephew Storm Malone’s wheel chair, senior De’ Vante Smith rolls him onto Panther field in a monumental moment that gains the applause from both the Panther fans as well as the Mansfield Tiger fans Friday night.  He is then lifted up slowly, using a harness he now wears as support in order to perform the captain’s coin toss. This action marks a big step in his recovery from a domestic violence attack that took the life of his sister Tasmia Allen and his Mother Toya Smith in August -if you need immediate assistance against such actions, click here.

“Being on the field made me feel like a star,” Malone said. “I was speechless at a moment I will never forget,”

This year, Malone was supposed to snap on a Panther helmet as a freshman and take the field at Panther Stadium as a starter on the freshman football team.  He was a standout at his middle school last year as a cornerback and a wide receiver. His middle school coach and now freshman coach Jarvis Johnson says he has faith in a full recovery for Malone.

“He is a fighter and I knew he would bounce back,” Jarvis said.

Unfortunately, Malone’s family said he will never be able to participate in the sport he loves. This is why his cousin Smith, who wears #7 as a varsity captain and was at the house when Malone and his family were found in August, says being a part of the coin toss that night will be remembered forever.

Freshman Storm Malone stands up with the assistance of his family and is handed the coin from the referee prior to performing the captains coin toss at midfield. Malone is recovering from a domestic violence shooting that took his sister Tasmia Allen and his mother Toya Smith’s lives in August and left him unable to participate in football for the rest of his life. (Mireya Ibarra photo)

“It was very important that he stood up on the football field because I know that he will never be able to play football again,” Smith said. “For him to be able to stand up in front of everyone and flip the coin, after the doctors told him he probably wouldn’t walk again, was very important to me.”

Malone is now living with his grandmother Lurlean Smith.  She says Malone’s recovery has been a long road and they still have a long way to go, but nonetheless she is happy to see where Storm is now.

“It has been rough, really rough, but when I look at Storm and see where he came from, it gives me that push to go on,” Lurlean said.  “The love and support we are getting keeps us going.”

After the incident, De’Vante Smith said Malone was afraid to go around people other than his family for fear that they did not want him around them.  Now just months later coaches, students, High Hats and others greeted him as he was wheeled onto the track. De’vante said this helped put a smile on Malone’s face.

“That night, he didn’t have to worry and think that no one wanted to see him,” De’vante said.”I knew this event would help him feel more comfortable around people.”

Following the game against Mansfield, the athletic department presented Malone’s family with donations of over two thousand dollars.  These donations came from those who attended the game and agreed to make a donation for the family.

“We wanted  him and his family to know we will always be there for him,” Duncanville Athletic Director Cathy Self-Morgan said.  “We wish we could do more, but just to ease some of their financial distress feels good.”

Saturday, the family  held a coming home celebration for Malone at  Armstrong Park on Saturday. Many of his family and friends were present and experienced everything along with Malone.

“This event was just what I wanted,” Malone said. “I wanted to be with my family and friends for the first time in a long time.”

Malone’s  Kennemer Middle School football jersey, #29, was retired this year. His jersey was presented to him in a glass frame on Saturday at the celebration.

“I helped the team put the jersey together, but I just knew that he would love to have his retired jersey framed,” De’Vante said.

During the celebration for Malone, last year’s girl’s basketball state champions, the  Duncanville Pantherettes, paid him a special visit. The team all joined together and signed an official game ball and delivered it him.

“It meant a lot to us, we knew Storm really wanted to see them. Not only did he see them, but he got a signed basketball by a state winning team.” DeVante said.

Malone moved around during the event and visited with those in attendance. He even took a photos with his family, many of which were there when they were told he would only live for 72 hours a the most.

“The doctors told us we needed to say our goodbyes and that if he did make it, he would be a vegetable for the rest of his life,” Malone’s Aunt Sheritha Smith said. “He is definitely living up to the name my sister gave him. Storm.”