Mich. man dies from fatal cannon blast at baby shower

State police say shrapnel from the explosion struck the man, who was standing 10-15 feet away from the cannon


Samuel Dodge
pennlive.com

GAINES TWP., Mich. — The victim of an exploding cannon at a Genesee County baby shower Saturday night has been identified by police.

Authorities continue to investigate the incident that occurred around 7:30 p.m., Feb. 6 in Gaines Township, approximately 14 miles southwest of Flint.

The blast killed Evan Thomas Silva, a 26-year-old man from Hartland in Livingston County, according to a Michigan State Police news release.

Silva was an attendee at a baby shower where the homeowner fired a small cannon-type device in the backyard to celebrate the baby’s pending arrival, police said.

The cannon blew up upon firing, spreading metal shrapnel that hit Silva, as well as three parked cars and the garage where the baby shower was held.

Silva was standing 10 to 15 feet from the explosion, police said. He was taken to Hurley Medical Center in Flint where he later died from his injuries.

He was one of about five people outside the residence where the cannon was fired and was the only one hit by shrapnel, police said.

The cannon was designed to fire more like a novelty Signal Cannon, which is intended to emit a big flash, a loud noise and smoke, police said.

The homeowner had purchased the cannon from an auction and had fired it several times before the incident took place.

The suspected cause of the explosion was gun powder loaded into the device that caused the cannon to fracture, allowing space for shrapnel to spread, police said.

The Michigan State Police Bomb Squad, Gaines Township Fire Department, and Med Star Ambulance assisted troopers at the scene.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing. Details of the case will be sent to the Genesee County Prosecutor for review upon completion of the investigation.

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(c)2021 The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.)

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