Man killed after cannon explodes at baby shower

The cannon sent shrapnel flying all over the property, police said.

February 7, 2021, 4:46 PM

A man was killed Saturday evening after shrapnel from an exploding cannon used at a baby shower in Michigan struck him, police said.

A homeowner in Genesee County fired a small cannon-type device in the backyard around 7:30 p.m. to celebrate the baby’s pending arrival, according to Michigan State Police.

"The homeowner had purchased the cannon at an auction prior to the event and had fired the cannon several times prior. The cannon is designed to create a big flash, a loud noise and create smoke," state police said in a statement.

Police are investigating an explosion at a baby shower in Gaines Township, Michigan, Feb. 6, 2021.

The cannon allegedly exploded and struck Evan Thomas Silva, 26, of Hartland, who was standing 10 to 15 feet away, police said. Three parked vehicles and the garage where the baby shower was being held were also impacted.

"The cannon did not contain any projectiles, but it is suspected that the gun powder loaded into the device caused the cannon to fracture," the police said.

The victim was rushed to Hurley Medical Center where he later died from his injuries, according to police. It is not currently known how Silva is related to the homeowner.

Michigan State Police said the bomb squad and Gaines Township Fire Department responded to the incident. Officials are investigating and the case will be sent to the Genesee County Prosecutor for review, according to police.