Local law enforcement in Lake County, Indiana, reports a man was killed and his two teenage children injured after a grenade discovered in their grandfather’s possessions was detonated.
Bryan Niedert, 47, of Lake of Four Seasons, Florida, was discovered by police unresponsive. He was transported to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, something happened in the gated community of Lakes of the Four Seasons, about an hour southeast of Chicago.
Niedert and his children, ages 18 and 14, were rummaging through their grandfather’s keepsakes when one of them found the grenade and naively removed the pin. Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. said who was responsible for the detonation hadn’t been reported.
The girl, 18, the boy, 14, and the gravely wounded man were rushed to a nearby hospital to treat shrapnel wounds.
When it came time to secure the area and search the house for other devices, the bomb squad from neighboring Porter County was called in to aid.
Crime scene investigators and homicide detectives from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office are actively investigating the incident.
The New York Times notes that grenade accidents are on the decline.
An explosives expert, Lt. Col. Robert Leiendecker, stationed at Fort McNair (67th Ordnance Detachment ) in Washington, DC, claims that many hand grenades are kept in private residences.
This did not stop him from assuring his audience that “a very, very high percentage are inert and safe to handle.”
The FBI has determined that bombs are regularly unearthed in the belongings of servicemen and women. These kinds of relics were common items brought back by veterans of World Wars I and II, the Persian Gulf War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.