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UTICA, Minn. — An invitation to join in the fun led to tragedy on a Fillmore County farm Saturday night.

A bachelor-bachelorette party was in progress at the residence on the farm where Jeffrey Taylor, 47, of Utica kept some cattle. When Taylor and his sons arrived in the evening to tend the cattle, they were invited to stop by the party before leaving, Fillmore County Sheriff Daryl Jensen said.

As Taylor and his sons prepared to leave, some of the party-goers were shooting exploding targets with a high-powered rifle, Jensen said. Taylor joined a group of spectators standing behind the shooter. Just before 9 p.m. a shot exploded a target and Taylor immediately collapsed with a wound to the abdomen, Jensen said.

He was driven to a nearby location where the Rushford Ambulance and Mayo 1 helicopter attended to him. He was pronounced dead at that location.

An autopsy found the cause of death consistent with a shrapnel injury from the exploding target, Jensen said.

The explosive used in the target was Tannerite, Jensen said. Tannerite is a binary explosive — meaning two materials combined to react — used primarily as a target for firearms target practice. A exploding Tannerite target is intended to let a shooter know a hit has been scored without a walk downrange to see the target.

According to the company’s website, even when the materials are combined, Tannerite is “1,000 times as safe as black powder,” since it is not flammable, an explosion cannot be created by a burning fuse or electricity, and it requires the high-velocity impact delivered by a rifle bullet. A blow from a hammer, small-caliber rimfire or low-velocity pistol ammunition would not set off an explosion, according to the company.

Like black powder, it is a legal product. However, the company website strongly cautions against misuse.

Jensen said that in this case the Tannerite was “used with other materials” in a manner that was not included in the manufacturer’s recommendations. He said the individual who fired the shot that detonated the explosive “just happened to be the next in line to shoot,” and while alcohol was present at the party, “we don’t feel alcohol contributed to the result.”

Jenson said it was unclear how close the shooters and spectators were to the targets.

Jensen said that when the investigation is complete, the results will be forwarded to the Fillmore County Attorney’s office to determine if charges are warranted.

“It’s just tragic,” Jensen said. “There’s no other way to describe it.”

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(8) comments


We know how to screenshot on windows in any computer whether operating in windows 7 or 10.


Stupid is, as stupid does.


Don't know how close they were to the target, Detective Jensen? That's some super sleuthing. Gee you have shell casings at point A, exploded targets at point B....Anybody got a tape measure?

Mike Hammer

He should have known the distance, you are correct. Now reread the article and you will find that poor sleuthing skills are rampant. Jensen is the Fillmore County Sherriff, not a detective.


ya because everybody has a physicist on speed dial. u make some dumb comments. they obviously had some materials over the explosives that shouldn't have been there. an engineer or a physicist can tell exactly where shrapnel is going anyways and any idiot with a calculator can figure out how far it could go. they were way too close


Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

Guns, explosives, firearms practice and probably alcohol. Great combination.

Guns, especially in your tea party type celebration like this, makes everyone safer for sure.

Mike Hammer

Little Tea Party Girl:

I read the article carefully, and am hard-pressed to uncover the political leanings of this ill-fated crew. Thank God for your psychic powers. Without your amazing sleuthing there would be no cause to slander the Tea Party based on this article. Stay the course and never allow facts to cloud your stunning conclusions .


When in doubt, call an engineer or a physicist... a simple calculation could have saved this unfortunate man.

"Lec 1 | 8.01 Physics I: Classical Mechanics, Fall 1999"

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