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Shot that killed child before fireworks show likely fired from handgun, police say

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR)  - The stray bullet that struck and killed seven-year-old Brendon Mackey before a July 4 fireworks show likely came from a handgun, Chesterfield Police said in a news release Monday.

Mackey was walking with his father to the fireworks show at Swift Creek Reservoir when the bullet hit him in the top of his head.

Investigators determined the bullet is of a caliber "typically fired from handguns." In the hours after the shooting, police said it was unlikely that the shot was intentionally fired at the boy, and that the bullet likely came from a gun fired off the premises.

“We think that somebody in or around the Brandermill area was celebrating the Fourth of July. Unfortunately we think they were shooting a gun in a reckless manner and this young boy is a victim,” Chesterfield Police Capt. Brad Badgerow said hours after the shooting.

Anyone with information about people firing handguns around Swift Creek Reservoir around 9 p.m. on July 4 is asked to call Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.

In the days since the shooting, a local woman started a fundraiser online to help Brendon’s family.

“We went on to and set the goal at $10,000, and it just took off from there,” Catherine Hopkins said.  “People donated immediately.  It started going through the news–all over Facebook.”

As of 11:00 a.m. on July 8, 2013, $18,285 has been raised.  If you are interested in donating money to Brendon’s family, please click here.