Reporting Chris Simon
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A Linwood Township man who shot himself in the chest with an unexploded firework over the Memorial Day weekend is still listed in critical condition at a St. Paul hospital.
According to hospital officials, Nick Beheng suffered from the high velocity, bottle rocket-type firework penetrating his chest and piercing his heart.
Authorities say he’s still hanging on after surgery at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. The surgery was performed under the oversight of the St. Paul Police bomb squad, due the fact that the embedded fireworks had not detonated.
Howie Padilla, St. Paul Police spokesman says it was an arduous procedure and very risky.
“What we did was basically have a presence there at the hospital and provide guidance to the doctors. As soon as the projectile was removed we took custody of it for safekeeping,” says Padilla.
Beheng had allegedly been launching the illegal Roman candle type fireworks two at a time, using a metal tube as a hand held launcher. The first rocket took off successfully, but its blast sent the second firework backward through the rear of the tube and into his chest.
Behing’s family released a statement, saying: “Nick has a long recovery ahead of him. Thank you for your prayers and support during this difficult time. We would like to thank the first responders, surgeons and medical staff at Regions Hospital who are caring for our son. We are confident he’s getting the best care possible.”