A MAN has been killed after a baby shower stunt went horribly wrong.
Evan Thomas Silva, 26, was fatally struck by an exploding cannon fired during a backyard party in Genesee County, Michigan, on Saturday night.
Silva, from Hartland, was attending the celebration when the homeowner decided to fire a small cannon-type device in the backyard to celebrate the baby’s pending arrival, according to cops.
Police have revealed that cannon blew up upon firing, spreading metal shrapnel and hitting Silva, who was standing 10 to 15 feet from the explosion.
The shrapnel also spread as far to hit three parked cars and the garage where the baby shower was being held.
Silva was taken to Hurley Medical Center in Flint, where he later died from his injuries, cops said.
State police said following an investigation, the case will be sent to the Genesee County prosecutor for review.
"Yesterday evening, Evan Silva was in a fatal accident," his brother Phil Silva posted in a tribute on Facebook.
"He has left behind a loving family, countless friends and memories in all of our hearts. Further details are to come, your thoughts and prayers are appreciated."
"He left behind many family members and friends who greatly miss him and are grieving," a Gofundme page set up for his family to help with funeral costs, reads.
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.
Police said the homeowner bought the cannon at an auction prior to the event and had fired the cannon several times before.
"The cannon is designed to create a big flash, a loud noise and create smoke," Michigan State Police said in a news release.
"The cannon did not contain any projectiles, but it is suspected that the gun powder loaded into the device caused the cannon to fracture, resulting in shrapnel being spread in the area."
It is not currently known how Silva is related to the homeowner.
Police released a statement saying the cannon was designed to fire more like a Signal Cannon, more commonly used now as a novelty item.
They revealed: “The homeowner had purchased the cannon at an auction prior to the event and had fired the cannon several times prior.”
The cannon, designed to create a big flash, a loud noise, and create smoke, did not contain any projectiles – but it is suspected that the gun powder loaded into the device caused the cannon to fracture, resulting in shrapnel being spread in the area.
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.
In recent years, some gender-reveal events — where devices eject confetti, balloons or other colored objects to announce a soon-to-be-born child’s sex — have taken a dangerous turn.
In September, a couple’s plan to reveal their baby’s gender with blue or pink smoke sparked a wildfire that burned thousands of acres in Southern California, The Detroit News reported.
And in 2019, a homemade explosive used to reveal a baby’s gender killed 56-year-old Pamela Kreimeyer in Knoxville, Iowa. The device was meant to spray powder but instead blew up like a pipe bomb.
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