Cannon Explosion at Baby Shower Kills 26-Year-Old Michigan Man

Evan Thomas Silva was standing about 10-to-15 feet away when a "small cannon type device" exploded, striking only him with a piece of metal shrapnel, according to

Canon Explosion at Baby Shower Kills 1 in Michigan

A baby shower over the weekend ended in the sudden death of a 26-year-old Michigan man who was fatally struck with an explosive during the celebration, according to authorities. The young man, identified as Evan Thomas Silva, was celebrating with friends and family in the backyard of a home in Gaines Township around 7:30 p.m. Saturday, according to reports.

Silva was standing about 10 to 15 feet away when a "small cannon type device" exploded, striking only him with a piece of metal shrapnel, according to He was one of five people standing outside near the explosion.

The cannon-device was fired "several times" before the shower and had no issue. The device was meant to be used as a celebratory gesture, to "create a big flash, a loud noise and create smoke," according to The New York Times, citing a news release from the Michigan State Police department.

The explosive gadget, which was purchased at an auction by the homeowner, was "similar to a signal cannon, more commonly used now as a novelty item," according to the release.

The device was not used to reveal the gender of the baby, Lieutenant Liz Rich, a spokeswoman, told the Times. Gender reveal parties are an increasingly common tradition where expectant parents use extravagant ways to disclose the baby's sex by revealing a certain color.

These forms of "gender reveal parties" have become a new obsession and, in recent years, have been linked to two deaths since 2019 and even sparked major wildfires, according to reports.

Investigators in Michigan are now directing their attention to whether the device was improperly used or malfunctioned, according to reports. Authorities suspect that gunpowder loaded in the device caused a fracture in the device, which allowed room for the metal shrapnel to move, according to reports.

The state police, Michigan State Police Bomb Squad and the Gaines Township Fire Department responded to the scene.

Silva, originally from Hartland, was rushed to a local hospital in Flint where he died. Three cars and the garage were also struck with the metal fragments.