WYANDOTTE — A wayward projectile shot from a cannon at a gun show traveled nearly two miles and ricocheted off a tree before blasting through Gene and Jeanne Kelley’s residence.
It left a 15-inch round hole in their master bedroom, according to the Ottawa County sheriff’s staff.
The 105 mm howitzer cannon was listed as a new attraction at the Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show held this past weekend.
Telephone calls to the event organizer were not returned.
The two-day event is billed as a family event with a sniper shoot, armored personnel carrier rides and helicopter rides. Proceeds go to the Wyandotte Fire Department, according to the event’s website.
“It’s huge,” said sheriff’s Detective Derek Derwin, referring to the military-styled field cannon. “They were used during the Vietnam War.”
Internet sites say the cannon is about 13 feet long and weighs about 2,500 pounds. The projectile hit the residence about 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
“It could have been serious,” Gene Kelley said. “My wife normally goes to bed around 9:30. We just happened to be up late watching TV.”
The shell from the cannon measured 14 inches long and was 3 1/2 inches in width, he said.
Kelley said sheriff’s deputies said the projectile bounced off the ground and into the air, hit a tree knocking off a tree limb, before traveling into the house hitting a wall, then hitting the ceiling three times and landed on another wall in their master bedroom.
The spot on the ground where the explosive hit left a half-moon shape hole 4 feet long and 12 to 14 inches in width, he said.
“I was told it was pointed in a safe direction,” Kelley said. “Regardless of how safe a direction it was pointed in, the end result is it still reached my home.”
He said the man who owns the weapon said he would take care of the damages to the Kelley residence.