Grenade Found in Grandfather's Things Kills a Man

Someone in the Indiana home reportedly pulled the pin
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2023 2:00 AM CDT
Man Killed by Grenade Found in a Grandfather's Things
   (Getty Images / JOHNGOMEZPIX)

A family that was parsing through a grandfather's belongings at an Indiana home on Saturday night made a find that ended up being a fatal one. Police say a hand grenade was discovered in the grandfather's things in a home located in the Lakes of the Four Seasons gated community, and someone reportedly pulled its pin. The device detonated just prior to 6:30pm, killing Bryan Niedert, 47; his 18-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son suffered shrapnel wounds and were brought to a local hospital, reports ABC7 Chicago. Their conditions are not known.

The New York Times reports the Lake County Sheriff’s Department did not specify who pulled the pin. The Times spoke with explosive ordnance disposal expert Lt. Col. Robert Leiendecker, who says it's not rare for hand grenades to be in private collections, but "a very, very high percentage ... are totally inert and safe to handle." That said, he cautions that a pin should never be pulled unless "you know 1,010% that it’s totally inert." NPR adds that law enforcement advises anyone who finds a grenade to distance themselves from it and call 911 right away. The sheriff's department noted in a Facebook post that a bomb squad was called to the home to "determine whether there may be additional explosive devices." There's no word on their assessment. (More grenade stories.)

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