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Family mourns Utah boy killed by mini toy cannon



Published: Wed, January 25, 2012 @ 4:42 p.m.

Family mourns Utah boy killed by mini toy cannon

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (AP) — Family members and former classmates said they’re still in shock after a 14-year-old Utah boy fatally shot himself with a miniature toy cannon earlier this week.

The day after Robby Ostberg was pronounced dead at his Tremonton home with major head injuries, Lucille Hertel described her grandson as shy and mechanically gifted.

“He was one of these kids who was very mechanically inclined. He could fix any lawn mower, almost any motor,” she told the Deseret News. “He never got into trouble. He wasn’t a troublemaker or anything.”

Tremonton police said Ostberg was playing with the toy in his living room about 7:30 a.m. Monday when the cannon went off. The boy was struck in the face and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities haven’t released detailed information about what kind of projectile hit Ostberg, but Hertel said her grandson sometimes wrapped gunpowder in tin foil and fired it a few feet away with the cannon.

The toy is described as an 18th century replica with a 6-inch metal barrel and a wooden base. Hertel said a neighbor gave it to the boy several years ago.

The boy’s father didn’t know Ostberg had access to gunpowder, Hertel said.


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