Who was Evan Thomas Silva? Michigan man killed as party cannon exploded and threw 'shrapnel' during baby shower
GENESEE COUNTY, MICHIGAN: On Saturday, February 6, a 26-year-old was fatally struck by an exploding cannon fired during a backyard party. Evan Thomas Silva died after the baby shower stunt went horribly wrong.
From Hartland, Silva was in town attending the celebration of the baby's arrival when the homeowner decided to fire a small cannon-type device, according to the police. What was intended to be a grand gesture, turned into an unforgettable accident. Police reveal that upon firing, the cannon blew up and spread metal shrapnel into the air. Silva was standing 10-15 feet away from the explosion but the metal pieces fatally hit him.
Silva was then rushed to the Hurley Medical Center in Flint, where police say he later died from his injuries. Following an investigation, State police said that the case will be sent to the Genesee County prosecutor for review. 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 shrapnel also caused damage to property hitting three parked cars and the garage where the baby shower was being held. It is not currently known how Silva is related to the homeowner.
His brother Phil Silva took to Facebook to post a tribute for his dead brother. "Yesterday evening, Evan Silva was in a fatal accident. 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." A GoFundMe page set up for his family to help with funeral costs, read, "He left behind many family members and friends who greatly miss him and are grieving."
The homeowner had bought the cannon at an auction prior to the event and fired the cannon several times before, say reports. "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." The statement also revealed that the cannon was designed to fire more like a Signal Cannon, which is these days more commonly used as a novelty item.
The Michigan State Police Bomb Squad, Gaines Township Fire Department and Med Star Ambulance assisted troopers at the scene. Details of the case will be sent to the Genesee County Prosecutor for review upon completion of the investigation.
According to recent reports, in September, a gender reveal party sparked a wildfire that burned down thousands of acres in Southern California. In another case, a homemade explosive used to reveal a baby's gender killed 56-year-old Pamela Kreimeyer in Knoxville, Iowa in 2019. The device was intended to spray powder but blew up like a pipe bomb.