Police: Man shoots off firework from top of his head, dies (2024)

  • Devon Staples, 22, died on Saturday night after he tried to launch a firework from his head in the backyard of a friends home
  • Police say Staples placed a fireworks mortar tube on his head and set it off, injuring his head and killing him instantly
  • Staples and his friends had been drinking prior to the incident

By Associated Press and Alexandra Klausner For Dailymail.com

Published: | Updated:

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A man celebrating the Fourth of July died when he tried to launch a firework off the top of his head, Maine State Police say.

Twenty-two-year-old Devon Staples of Calais had been setting off fireworks with friends on Saturday night in the backyard of a friend's home, according to Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

He says Staples placed a fireworks mortar tube on his head and set it off, injuring his head. He died instantly.

Fireworks killed him:Devon Staples of Calais had been setting off fireworks with friends on Saturday night in the backyard of a friend's home when he put one of them on his head and it went off, killing him instantly

Disney prince: Cody said that his brother Devon lived in Orlando, Florida where he worked as a dog walker and where he also worked at Disney World as an actor. He would play characters like Gaston (left) from Beauty and the Beast and entertain children as a variety of other personalities

Police say the friends had been drinking.

The New York Daily News spoke with Devon's brother Cody Staples who was standing just five feet away from his brother when the firework went off.

While police maintain that Devon was trying to launch the firework off of his head, his brother describes the incident as 'a freak accident.'

Devon said that his brother was holding a lighter which made the firework 'go off accidentally.'

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'I was the first one who got there. There was no rushing him to the hospital. There was no Devon left when I got there,' his brother said.

'It was a freak accident. …. But Devon was not the kind of person who would do something stupid. He was the kind of person who would pretend to do something stupid to make people laugh.'

Cody said that his brother Devon lived in Orlando, Florida where he worked as a dog walker and also worked at Disney World as an actor.

He would play characters like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast and entertain children.

Missed by all: Staples, pictured here with a friend or significant other,lived in Orlando where he used to work at Disney World

'He loved it. He loved making people happy,' Cody Staples said.

As a dog walker, Cody said his brother wanted to help people who had pet issues.

McCausland says Staples' death marks Maine's first fireworks fatality since the state legalized fireworks several years ago.

Calais is in eastern Maine, on the Canadian border near New Brunswick.

State fire marshals were also investigating several other Fourth of July fireworks accidents involving injuries in Friendship, Jefferson, Lebanon and Woodstock.

They said most of the accidents involved burns and eye injuries. McCausland said further details were expected to be released later on Sunday.

In 2011, lawmakers voted to repeal a 1949 law banning fireworks, reasoning the industry would create jobs and generate additional revenue.

'He was someone everyone should want to be like when they grow up. He was my younger brother and I looked up to him,' Cody said of his brother Devon

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Police: Man shoots off firework from top of his head, dies (2024)
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