Midlothian, VA – Seven-year-old Brendon Mackey was strolling along a few steps behind his father as they crossed the parking lot of a Virginia restaurant just before 9 pm on July 4, when the child suddenly collapsed.
Brendon died the following day, around 11 am Friday, after hospital staff discovered he’d been hit in the top of the head with a bullet. Initially everyone thought the boy had just passed out.
Police believe the child’s death was an unfortunate accident; the result of a stray bullet fired off during Independence Day festivities as it is common for revelers to shoot off a few rounds.
Gunfire is difficult to discern when commingled with active pyrotechnics.
The shooter had to be near the Boathouse Restaurant in the Brandermill area and was likely unaware their randomly fired bullet killed a child, reports a local NBC News affiliate.
Chesterfield Police Captain Brad Badgerow was quoted by WTVR, “This is a terrible situation. We want to reach out to the public to appeal to everybody who may have any information on this at all. Put yourself in the family’s shoes and think about how terrible it is that they are going through this tragedy and reach out to us so we can help them.”
Police asked anyone who was firing a gun or knew of someone firing a gun within five miles of Swift Creek Reservoir to call Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.
Celebratory gunfire, which leads to falling bullets, injures and kills a number of people in the US every year. The likelihood of being struck in the head – the first point of impact – is higher, therefore the odds of death from a bullet wound increases.
Officials want to remind people that randomly shooting a gun in this manner is criminally irresponsible and extremely dangerous.
Individuals who inadvertently cause the death of another can be charged with involuntary manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice. It is distinguished from voluntary manslaughter by the absence of intention. It is normally divided into two categories; constructive manslaughter and criminally negligent manslaughter, both of which involve criminal liability.
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