Police follow tips after 7-year-old killed by “celebratory” gunfire

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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR)--While police continue their search for whoever pulled the trigger, classmate Diego Acosta chokes back tears, talking about his friend, seven-year-old Brendon Mackey.

"It's not good to have somebody as a friend killed by a bullet," said Diego.

But not knowing where that bullet came from has police looking to the public for help with leads.

"Either side of the reservoir, or anyone that may have been shooting a gun, we need your help,” said Chesterfield Police Capt. Brad Badgerow. “We need them to call."

Chesterfield Police say little Brendon Mackey, a rising 3rd grader, was hit in the head by a bullet that came crashing down after someone shot off celebratory gun fire for the Fourth of July near Sunday Park.

Brendon had been walking hand-in-hand with his father and cousin near the Boathouse restaurant when he collapsed.

"He died,” said Diego. “You know, it makes me feel sad."

According to his 2nd grade teacher’s aide at Hopkins Elementary School, Brendon had a vibrant personality.

"He was a very nice boy,” said Karen Acosta. “He just played and smiled."

Acosta laughed when she recalled one of her most memorable moments working with Brendon's class came when a little girl told her she was spoken for.

"Riley told me, ‘I got married to Brendon,’” said Acosta. “I said, ‘what-t-t-t?’ And Brendon said, ‘yes!’"

Brendon’s ambitious young boy's dream will never be fulfilled, and his family’s hopes for his bright future have been shattered by the crack of gunfire masked by Fourth of July festivities. In seven short years, Brendon Mackey made memories, some that Diego Acosta says he'll never forget.

"I'll miss the talking, the playing, when we go to recess," Diego said softly.

Police are urging the public, that if you saw anyone in their backyard Thursday night in the Woodlake and Brandermill area, firing rounds, to call police with that information.

Contact Crime Solvers 746-0660.