LAS VEGAS -- Shock and sadness are consuming a northeast Las Vegas community after a fireworks accident claimed the life of 22-year-old Kacey Barlow and sent a 13-year-old to the hospital.
Barlow was killed from the impact of an explosion and 13-year old Jacob Kittinger was also injured but is expected to be alright. Metro police say the accident involved illegal fireworks and some other device that was detonated.
What was supposed to be a fun Fourth of July party, turned tragic Sunday when a family lost their only child. A shattered car window and fireworks on the ground are grave reminders of a horrific event.
"It's been awful, I can't describe it. He was like my little brother even though he was my cousin, but we were so close," said Nikki Fisher, Barlow's cousin.
"I just met with the family and gave them a hug," said Kathi Hertzel, Barlow's aunt. Family and friends can't believe what happened. They say Barlow was an Eagle Scout many of the neighborhood kids looked up to.
"Just full of life, full of life, interested in everything, off-road racing, he was into photography, anything new he loved, he was a good kid," said Hertzel.
Neighbors speculate chemicals or a pipe bomb may have been exploded with the fireworks, but Metro doesn't know for sure. The family, who is also looking for answers, says someone made a bad decision.
"That was completely dangerous. I'm not sure of all of the information as to what exactly what it was that exploded but obviously it was not legal and very dangerous," said Fisher.
As Metro investigates, frustration sets in.
"I just want to know why and I don't but I can't believe he's gone. I go through the emotions but I can't believe he's gone," said Fisher.
Barlow's family says he liked fireworks and lighting campfires but never messed with explosives. His mother is taking it especially tough.
"All I can do is be there for her. I don't even know what to say, that's their only child and now he's gone," Fisher said.
Barlow's family is hoping that what happened to Kacey will send a message to others about the dangers of fireworks. They say they don't want any other family to experience what they are going through.
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