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Prosecutor: No charges in fatal explosion of cannon at Mich. baby shower

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

No charges will be issued in the death of a Hartland man killed by an explosion involving a cannon at a baby shower, the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday. 

"This was a terrible tragedy at what should have otherwise been a happy celebration of new life, family and friends," Prosecutor David Leyton said in a statement. "The family of the victim made it very clear they did not want to see any criminal charges brought against anyone for what they believe was a very tragic accident that no one saw coming."

Leyton said the police investigation did not turn up any evidence of criminal gross negligence. 

Evan Thomas Silva, 26, from Hartland was fatally injured after the cannon exploded.

Evan Thomas Silva, 26, was killed Feb. 6 after he was hit by shrapnel when a small cannon device was fired in the backyard of a Gaines Township home.

MoreMichigan man, 26, killed after cannon used at baby shower explodes

Silva was taken in serious condition to Hurley Medical Center in Flint, where he later died.

Four or five people were outside the home when the cannon was fired but Silva was the only person hit. Several cars also were sprayed by shrapnel.

Leyton said Michigan State Police investigated the incident and determined the cannon was legal and had been fired several times in the past.

According to investigators, the cannon was pointed at an empty field and did not contain any intended projectiles. However, the cannon's metal frame became shrapnel in the explosion. A piece of shrapnel was thrown 15 feet and struck Silva in the chest.

Police said the cannon was fired by the home's owner and it was similar to a Signal Cannon, more commonly used as a novelty item. They said the homeowner bought the cannon at an auction.


Twitter: @CharlesERamirez