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Vigil Held For 12-Year-Old Killed In Fireworks Accident

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Posted at 3:44 PM, Jun 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 00:34:20-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A vigil was held Monday night to remember 12-year-old Antonio Braden who  was killed in a fireworks accident Sunday. 

The incident happened just after 10 p.m. Sunday on Lewis Street in Nashville.

Officials with Metro Police said Braden, who lived on nearby Carroll Street, was with a group of friends setting off bottle rockets and roman candles when 24-year-old Joshua Woods began setting off  artillery type firework shells.

Woods told investigators he'd bought the shells from a fireworks stand outside Davidson County.

According to police, Woods set off several of the shells and noticed two juveniles grab some of them. He asked Braden to get one from a friend who threw the shell, causing it to break. 

Woods said he saw Braden holding one of the tubes towards the sky as another kid was lighting the damaged firework. It apparently made a strange sound, at which point Braden ran about 30-feet and collapsed. Witnesses believe it was pointed in the wrong direction and hit Antonio directly in the chest.

A neighbor called police around 10:40 p.m. to report the incident. 

Woods and another man took Braden to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was pronounced deceased. 

 His family is still in shock by what happened.

 "What we gonna do now? We gonna pray more harder and we gonna get together and go through this together that's what we're gonna do now. We're gonna make it. Tonio is in a better place," said his grandmother Wilma Braden.

She is pleading with other children to leave fireworks alone.

"Put them down, parents get behind their kids and stop them. Know what they are and who they are with, who they playing with, watch them more carefully."

 No charges have been filed at this time.  Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

It is legal to possess fireworks in Davidson County, but it's illegal to buy, sell or use such fireworks in the Metro area -- though they can easily be bought in neighboring counties. Violations can result in citations and fireworks being confiscated. 

Doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center say the majority of firework injuries and deaths occur around the Fourth of July holiday.  

You can see a list of their firework safety tips here: http://on.nc5.co/1HqOaFV