A man has been killed after a stunt at a baby shower went horribly wrong.

Evan Thomas Silva, 26, was fatally struck by an exploding cannon which was fired during a backyard party in Genesee County, Michigan, on Saturday night, The US Sun reports.

Mr Silva was attending the celebration when the small cannon-type device was fired in the backyard to celebrate the baby's pending arrival, according to police.

 

Evan Silva, 26, was killed in the explosion. Picture: Facebook
Evan Silva, 26, was killed in the explosion. Picture: Facebook

 

The 26-year-old was the only person struck by the shrapnel. Picture: Facebook
The 26-year-old was the only person struck by the shrapnel. Picture: Facebook

Police revealed that when the cannon was fired it blew up, spreading metal shrapnel which hit Mr Silva, who was standing about 4.5m away.

Shrapnel also hit three parked cars and the garage where the baby shower was being held.

Mr Silva was taken to Hurley Medical Centre in Flint, where he later died from his injuries, police said.

State police said following an investigation, the case will be sent to the Genesee County prosecutor for review.

A novelty cannon was fired in the backyard as part of the baby shower. Picture: Facebook
A novelty cannon was fired in the backyard as part of the baby shower. Picture: Facebook

"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.

Silva has ‘left behind a loving family, countless friends and memories in all of our hearts,’ one tribute read on Facebook. Picture: Facebook
Silva has ‘left behind a loving family, countless friends and memories in all of our hearts,’ one tribute read on Facebook. Picture: Facebook

Police said the homeowner bought the cannon at an auction prior to the event and had tested 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."

Evan Thomas Silva was the only one hit by the exploding shrapnel. Picture: ABC
Evan Thomas Silva was the only one hit by the exploding shrapnel. Picture: ABC

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.

It is not yet known how Evan Thomas Silva is related to the homeowner. Picture: ABC
It is not yet known how Evan Thomas Silva is related to the homeowner. Picture: ABC

In recent years, some gender-reveal events - where devices eject confetti, balloons or other coloured 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.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

Originally published as Baby shower stunt kills guest


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