A man was killed on the Fourth of July after he was hit in the face by a firework in Chicago’s Gage Park neighborhood, police said. 

The 42-year-old, identified as David Griffin, was handling the firework around 9:30 p.m. in an alley in the 2500 block of West 54th Street when he suffered a fatal injury to the face, according to authorities.

The man was taken to Holy Cross Hospital where he was ultimately pronounced dead. 

Witnesses said baseball fields, streets and alleys in the area were packed with people setting off fireworks Tuesday night. 

One witness who saw the incident involving Griffin said he was handling a large cylindrical firework called a mortar and was with children at the time of his death. 

“He wanted to shoot one of these mortar fireworks and the fuse looked like it wasn’t working right and he stuck his face over it,” said Daniel Saenz. “And it went off as soon as he stuck his face over it.

“It was in front of his kids,” Saenz added. “It happened in front of my kids…His family was crying.” 

No other injuries were reported, police said. 

Published at 7:48 AM CDT on Jul 5, 2017 | Updated at 10:24 AM CDT on Jul 5, 2017

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