Then a stray bullet pierced the top of Brendon Mackey’s head, the 7-year-old was on his way to a July Fourth fireworks celebration with his dad and other family members. He died the next day in a Richmond hospital, a bullet lodged at the base of his skull, sparking a methodical, door-to-door search for a most elusive killer: celebratory gunfire.
Police believe someone fired a shot into the air within a 5,200-foot radius of Brendon. Witnesses heard a “little pop,” then Bryan Mackey looked back and saw his son’s limp body on the ground, Chesterfield County Police Lt. Randy Horowitz said.
Forensic experts at the state crime lab have identified the bullet as a .40-caliber class, and the likely weapon has been narrowed to five types of handguns, Horowitz said. They’ve appealed for anyone who fired a gun into the dimming night sky or neighbors who might have witnessed someone doing so to come forward. No one has. To date, investigators have knocked on doors at about half of the 1,800 residences within the likely range of where the shot was fired, with no luck.