Police warn residents about dangers of celebratory gunfire

Published: Jun. 30, 2017 at 6:41 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 3, 2017 at 1:13 PM EDT
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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 last week.

Officers are still investigating an incident that killed 7-year-old Brendon Mackey, who was struck by a bullet before a fireworks display at Swift Creek Reservoir four years ago on July 4. Police believe the bullet that hit Brendon was fired randomly into the air, most likely from a distance.

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

There will be increased patrols at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds and at Sunday Park in the Brandermill neighborhood where fireworks are being held.

Lt. Jonathan Miller with the Chesterfield Police Department says celebratory gunfire can result in serious injury, property damage or prove fatal.

"The bottom line is it's just dangerous and people shouldn't engage in that behavior," Miller said. "I don't think people realize when they pull a trigger on a pistol and shoot a bullet into the air, the bullet comes down somewhere."

Miller was also at work the night Mackey was killed.

"It left a hole in a family's life that will never be filled," Lt. Miller said.

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

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