Wisconsin man fires bowling balls from cannon, neighbor's horse found dead

A 65-year-old Wisconsin man is facing charges after shooting bowling balls from a homemade cannon.

- A 65-year-old Wisconsin man is facing charges after firing bowling balls and bowling pins from a cannon. One of the balls went through a neighbor’s barn, and the owner found her 10-month-old horse dead.  

Lisa Kroll felt her house shake on the 4th of July, but she thought it was one of her neighbors lighting off fireworks. It turns out, they were shooting bowling balls out of a homemade cannon and several of them landed on her property.

Kroll says when she went to feed her horses the next day, she noticed a bowling ball had gone through the roof of her barn. She also found one of her horses dead with a head wound that she believes was caused by the flying objects, and six more balls and three bowling pins in a field by her house.

"At least it was a horse not a human, but it was a very nice horse that got killed, very unfortunate," Kroll said.

It turns out, the brother of one of Kroll's neighbors brought a homemade cannon to the house to celebrate the 4th of July. He admitted to police he shot a total of 10 bowling balls and 10 bowling pins out of the cannon, and he was sorry they made it to Kroll's property nearly half a mile away.

"Been prosecuting 34 years, this is the first case we've had where someone was shooting bowling balls out of a cannon,” St. Croix County Attorney Eric Johnson said.

Ricky Thorne, of Spring Valley, Wis., is being charged with recklessly endangering safety and negligent handling of a weapon.

Kroll said she's troubled by the fact that she had guests sleeping in camper trailers outside her barn. She said the horse was worth $10,000 and the damage to her barn was estimated at $4,000.


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