CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va (WTVR) -- It was a single, stray bullet that struck and killed Brendon Mackey, 7, on the Fourth of July near Swift Creek Reservoir.
"A lot of people have a notion that on the Fourth of July they're going to take their firearms and shoot it up in the air," the CEO of Chesterfield's Dominion Shooting Range Jerry Thompson said. "One, it's dangerous and two it's illegal."
After days of investigation, police determined the bullet that hit Brendon was a .40 caliber class full metal jacket bullet. It was likely fired from a handgun, police said.
"A lot of people are unfamiliar with how far a bullet will actually travel when it fires," Thompson explained.
Detectives are searching a two-mile radius from where the child was shot.
"Shooting it straight up in the air you would expect it to go at least a mile," Thompson said. "If you could somehow hold your gun perpendicular it would go at least a mile before the friction in the air makes it start coming back down. And at an angle shot, which is more common, it could easily go four miles, plus."
Mhilet Flynn, who lives near the reservoir, said she's been closely following each new development.
"I was actually crying even though it wasn't mine," Flynn recalled after first hearing about the shooting. "I just can't imagine the feeling these people felt the moment they found out."
Flynn, a mother of four, hopes the person who fired the shot will come forward and give Brendon's family closure.
"Have a heart to give this family peace at least just to let them know that your heart goes out to this family," she said.
Forensics testing indicated the rifling on the bullet is mainly consistent with, but is not limited to the following firearms manufacturers:
- Heckler & Koch
- Kahr Arms
- Vektor Pistols
If you were firing a gun or you know someone who was firing a gun in the area of the Swift Creek Reservoir around the time of the incident, call Chesterfield Police at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.