Boy Dies After Shooting Himself With Toy Cannon - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Boy Dies After Shooting Himself With Toy Cannon

MSNBC.COM - A 14-year-old boy was killed Monday when the miniature cannon he was playing with accidentally fired, fatally shooting him in the face, police said.

Robby Ostberg was shot at about 7:30 a.m. Monday by an unidentified projectile, police said. He and his older brother had been playing video games in his living room when the 14-year-old picked up the cannon, reported NBC affiliate KSL.com.

"We're waiting for the medical examiner's report to help us determine what type of object may have been in the cannon," Tremonton Police Chief David Nance told msnbc.com, saying authorities don't know yet what caused the injury. "We're still investigating and trying to determine what happened."

The boy died at the scene of severe head injuries, reported KSL.com.

The boys' father was in a back bedroom at the time. No charges have been filed in the accident, Nance told msnbc.com, and he does not anticipate that any will be.

The replica is based on an 18th Century naval cannon, reported KSL.com. The barrel is about 6 inches long, according to Nance, and the cannon sits on a wood base.

Police told KSL the cannon was designed to be able to fire 50-caliber rounds, but a friend of Robby Ostberg told the station that while the 14-year-old fooled around with the cannon, he didn't use real ammunition.

"He doesn't put a bullet in there. He puts little tin foil balls in there," Cameron Kunsman said.

The friend's mother, Danielle Kunsman, told The Salt Lake City Tribune that Robby Ostberg was "very talented, mechanically," and was always repairing neighbors' electronic devices.

"He was willing to help anybody," Kunsman said. "He helped my daughter fix her TV. My husband gave him a chain saw that [was missing parts], and that kid got that thing running again. A neighbor said [Ostberg] was just out here, helping ... change his tires. If it was broken, he'd fix it."

Robby Ostberg was high school age, but was not enrolled at the local school, Nance told msnbc.com. He did not elaborate.

The boy's father is an Army veteran, reported Salt Lake City's ABC4.com.

A neighbor of the Ostbergs told ABC4 replica cannons are known to go off accidentally.

"All it takes is for something to slip and the hammer to drop on it and it will go boom," Trevor Steinlicht said. "Depending on how much gun powder you put in it, it will go through a wall, kill a rabbit or small game."

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