Tragedy struck this weekend when a 26-year-old Michigan man was unexpectedly killed after a small cannon exploded during the festivities at a local family baby shower.
According to a news release from the Michigan State Police first obtained by People, Evan Thomas Silva of Hartland, Michigan was standing approximately 10-15 feet away from the cannon when it exploded and struck him with metal shrapnel at around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night.
While there were others in the group at the party who had been in the vicinity of the cannon at the time of its explosion, authorities say Silva was the only one who was hit by the shrapnel. He was taken to Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan, where he was pronounced dead due to his injuries. Just awful…
According to police, the cannon had reportedly been “designed to create a big flash, a loud noise, and create smoke,” but authorities believe it actually fractured and mis-fired because it was mistakenly loaded with gun powder.
The owner of the cannon, cops say, bought it from an auction and had fired it “several times” before the baby shower to ensure it worked. Obviously, something went terribly, terribly wrong.
Speaking to the New York Times, Genesee County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Liz Rich said (below):
“The problem with things like this is when you use gunpowder and you’re using some sort of device without regular inspections on them, you may not see a hairline fracture in that device. There may have been too much gunpowder in there — that’s what our bomb squad suspects, that that’s the reason the entire thing exploded.”
Wow. Just terrible.
Rich also noted that no charges have yet been filed, although the incident remains under investigation. Soon, according to local authorities, police will be sending their investigation to the Genesee County Prosecutor to determine if it should be reviewed further and prosecuted.
As for Silva, a GoFundMe page organized to help his family with funeral arrangements had raised nearly $10,000 as of Monday morning. The site notes Silva was lost in “a sudden fatal accident,” and grieves in how he “left behind many family members and friends who greatly miss him.” You can visit that page HERE.
Our thoughts are with Silva and those grieving his loss during this unimaginably difficult time. Sending so much love and support to his family, friends, and loved ones suffering through his unexpected death.
[Image via Eyewitness News WTVO/YouTube]