Police warn about dangers of celebratory gunfire

Police warn about dangers of celebratory gunfire

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield police are warning residents about the dangers of celebratory gunfire during Fourth of July celebrations.

"What goes up will come down, and the consequences could be tragic," police said in a press release as the five-year anniversary of the death of 7-year-old Brendon Mackey nears.

Officers are still investigating an incident that killed Mackey, who was struck by a bullet before a fireworks display at Swift Creek Reservoir on July 4, 2013. Police believe the bullet that hit Brendon was fired randomly into the air, most likely from a distance.

"We don't want people going out there and shooting in a celebratory manner," a police captain said in 2013. "Something like last night, we never want to deal with again, it's senseless."

Mackey's death sparked "Brendon's Law," which went into effect four years ago and makes the act of celebratory gunfire resulting in injury a felony.

"Celebratory gunfire specifically, we don't want any of that going on. It's very dangerous, and it's also against the law," Jay Thornton, a captain with the criminal Investigations division said. "It would be reckless handling, that would be a state law, and we also have county codes that are against that kind of behavior as well."

In 2013, Chesterfield Police received seven calls for gunfire on the Fourth of July. That number jumped significantly in 2014 to 23 calls. By 2017, it dropped down to three.

Anyone with any information regarding Mackey's death should call Chesterfield police at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.

Wherever you are celebrating for the Fourth of July, if you see someone misusing a firearm, police encourage you to report it to them.

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