Midlothian, VA (WTVR-CNN) — A 7-year-old boy died Thursday night after he was shot in head by a stray bullet, Chesterfield Police said.
Police said the child, Brendon Mackey, was walking with his father in the parking lot of the Boathouse Restaurant in Midlothian at about 9:00 p.m. when he was shot. The father and son were there to watch some nearby fireworks.
"A large crowd had been gathering over by the reservoir to watch fireworks and a young boy, seven years old, was walking through the parking lot with his dad. He was a few step behind his dad and he [the boy] fell to the ground," Chesterfield Police Capt. Brad Badgerow said. "Initially they thought he was just passed out. They saw some blood. They thought he may have hit his head."
But when the child was taken to the hospital, doctors made a startling discovery.
"When medical personnel were treating him, they found what they believe to be a bullet wound in the top of his head," Badgerow said.
Police said it is unlikely that the shot was intentionally fired at the boy, and that the bullet likely came from a gun fired off the premises.
"We don't think this was an intentional shooting. 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," Badgerow said.
Police need help to figure out where the gun was fired If you have any information, you're asked to call Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.
"This is a terrible situation. We want to reach out to the public to appeal to everybody who may have any information on this at all," Badgerow said. "Put yourself in the family's shoes and think about how terrible it is that they are going through this tragedy and reach out to us so we can help them."