A hand grenade exploded Saturday evening at a Lakes of the Four Seasons, Indiana, home, killing one man and wounding his two teenage children.
The incident occurred in the 3400 block of West Lakeshore Drive, a residential area southwest of Valparaiso, northeastern Indiana, according to reporting from WISH-TV.
Police responded to the scene after receiving reports at around 6:30 p.m. of an explosion in the house.
When deputies with the Lake County Sherriff’s Office arrived at the scene, they discovered the man lying unconscious and his 14-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter suffering from shrapnel injuries, WGN-TV and WLS-TV reported.
The man would later be declared dead, according to the news station, while his children were admitted to a nearby hospital.
An investigation by the sheriff’s office found that the family had been rummaging through the belongings of a grandfather when they located the hand grenade, according to WGN-TV.
After coming across the relic, someone had allegedly pulled the pin on the grenade, setting off the explosion, according to police, WGN-TV reported.
Homicide detectives and a crime scene investigation unit with the local sheriff’s department are investigating the incident, according to the news station.
According to WISH-TV, the Porter County Bomb Squad had arrived at the home to find out if there were any more explosives there.
Would you call the bomb squad if you discovered old munitions?
Yes: 81% (46 Votes)
No: 19% (11 Votes)
This is not the first time individuals, especially relatives of WWII veterans, have stumbled upon explosives while looking through their loved ones’ belongings.
In 2020, an Oregonian woman in Otis, east of Lincoln City, was looking through her father’s garage when she came across an active WWII grenade.
The woman had found the ordinance in what was reportedly original packaging, local outlet The Oregonian reported.
Sgt. Patrick Dougherty with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said that he was initially “skeptical” about the bomb being active as usually, according to the officer, such ordinances are inert, the newspaper reported.
Dougherty said the woman’s father possessed a lot of military memorabilia, according to The Oregonian.
The woman also told officers that her father also had a WWII MKIIA1 fragmentation grenade converted to a lighter after being deactivated, the outlet reported.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, several veterans have brought weapons and devices to their homes following their service in WWI, WWII, and the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf wars.
“Usually what happens is when a veteran passes away, and family members are cleaning out their items, usually in a basement, garage, or attic, they’ll come across something that they know or suspect is a military ordnance,” Special Agent Patrick Carolan, a bomb technician with the FBI St. Louis Field Office said, according to the news release. “They call their local police, and we work with the police department’s bomb squad.”
“They are usually very surprised and relieved that we can take it off their hands,” he added, encouraging anyone who thinks they might have stumbled upon an explosive among their loved one’s belongings to call 911 as soon as possible.
“People are sometimes hesitant to call us because they think they’re putting us out. That is not the case. This is our job,” Carolan said. “We’d much rather come take a look at it and have it be nothing. We don’t want anyone to get hurt.”