GREELEY -- Delaware County authorities have released more information about an accident that claimed the life of a Edgewood woman last Saturday night.

Lori Heims, 55, died after what was described as a “homemade cannon” exploded while being used at a home in Greeley. Authorities believe Heims was struck in the head by a piece of shrapnel from the exploding device.

John LeClere, Delaware County sheriff, said the term “cannon” was a bit misleading.

He said investigators have determined the device was actually a black powder rifle barrel sawn in half. LeClere said the remaining barrel of the .50 caliber black power rife was approximately 13 inches in length.

The sheriff said those using the cut off rifle barrel were using black powder to make noise but were not trying to shoot off any projectiles.

LeClere said the community of Greeley does have ordinances regulating the use any exploding device within city limits. He said investigators have not made any determination about possible charges yet.

Final lab reports on the incident and victim could take several weeks to complete.


GREELEY — A woman has died after an incident involving a homemade cannon in Greeley on Saturday night.

Authorities say 55-year-old Lori Heims, of Edgewood, was hit in the head by a fragment of a cannon barrel that blew out when it was fired.

The incident happened around 11:30 p.m. outside 109 N. Church St.

First responders took Heims to a nearby hospital before air-lifting her to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where she died.

The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.

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