Police urge residents to refrain from celebratory gunfire on July 4

Local News

Police issue yearly reminder of Chesterfield boy's tragic death

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As the fourth of July holiday approaches, police are reminding area residents to celebrate safely and of the dangers of celebratory gunfire.

What goes up will come down, police say, and the consequences could be tragic.

In Chesterfield County, police continue to investigate the tragic 2013 death of 7-year-old Brendon Mackey, who was struck by a bullet before a fireworks display at Swift Creek Reservoir.

Police believe the round that struck Mackey was fired randomly into the air, likely from a distance, and encourage residents to report any reckless use of firearms immediately. 

In 2014, ‘Brendon’s Law’ was enacted to implement harsher penalties for reckless handling of a firearm, including celebratory gunfire, resulting in serious injury.

Police encourage residents to report any reckless use of firearms immediately.

Richmond Police is also reminding city residents who are considering shooting fireworks OR firearms in the air — BOTH are illegal.

“We want all citizens to have a safe and happy holiday this Fourth of July and enjoy events around Richmond,” Special Operations Division Commander Donald Davenport said. “The Department plans to have a strong police presence to ensure safe celebrations.”


  • Randomly firing a weapon in the city is illegal.
  • Firecrackers, skyrockets, torpedoes and other fireworks that explode, travel laterally, rise into the air, or fire projectiles are prohibited. 
  • Legal fireworks displays are planned at the Diamond and Dogwood Dell on Thursday, July 4.

Legal parking for Dogwood Dell is available at the City Stadium on Douglasdale Road.  Shuttle buses will be available from the City Stadium to Dogwood Dell.

  • Do not impede the flow of traffic to view fireworks, if you are in a vehicle. Please pull over to a safe location.

Anyone with information regarding Brendon Mackey’s death should contact the Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660 or through the P3 app.

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