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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.


1NoBS(2650 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Before the gun nuts start - don't blame the toy for the actions of the 14-year-old, who according to the story routinely and with the blessing of his family fired projectiles with gunpowder from this toy.

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2najjjj(106 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

The "gun nuts" didn't have to start.......you did. How about.......what a terrible loss, may his family find comfort.

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3USNBOY413(17 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

While I AM a gun nut. I have literally TONS of guns and shoot them VERY often. I've seen these mini cannons and I'm waiting for my own which will he here in a few days. These cannons are FAR FROM TOYS! They are basically a muzzleloader on wheels. I guess they missed the part in the owners manual about "CLOSE ADULT SUPERVISION". This is just crazy! "Let's give that pain in the behind neighbor kid a MINI CANNON and maybe he'll blow his brains out playing with it". Its stuff like this that left wing anti gun nuts LOVE to build new laws to take guns away. Way to watch your kid! Now a cool hobby for ADULTS is going to require a background check and a meeting with a shrink before you can buy a porch cannon. Thanks retard!

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4USNBOY413(17 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Ok, so, having a porch cannon delivered to my house is proof that I'm nuts? How do you come up with that? That doesn't make any sense at all. I am a responsible, law abiding adult. There is NOTHING wrong with buying a gun or a porch cannon. Collecting firearms is a very legal hobby and actually a very fun and rewarding hobby. I also collect bows and crossbows too. Does that make me nuts? I just bought a muzzleloader in December and I ordered it from Knight rifles and guess what? THEY SHIPPED THAT TO ME IN THE MAIL TOO! So, with that being said, are you nuts, ignorant, or just plain stupid? Why do you suggest I take up knitting? Are you trying to start a mens knitting group? I probably would stab my eyes out out of shear boredom!

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5USNBOY413(17 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

BTW, The shooting sports are a lot safer than most sports and take talent. You must not have any talent or you wouldn't be knitting! My whole family is involved. Myself, my wife, my 10yr old, and my 7yr old. We have NEVER had an "accident" or have never been in a dangerous situation. My kids are VERY educated and VERY proficient with firearms handling and safety. Either myself or my wife ALWAYS have positive control of every firearm our kids are shooting. In fact, my 10yr old has been shooting since he was 3 years old. 99% of all child deaths involving firearms is due to fascination. My kids don't have that fascination because we shoot with them and we shoot often. Most of the time its whenever they want to! They understand how much carnage a firearm can do when they are in the wrong hands. Wrong hands meaning THEM without CLOSE supervision. Say what you want but educated kids are less likely to shoot their friend or sibling because "they found dads gun and thought it was cool" so they aimed it at the other kid and pulled the trigger and ended that child's life!

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