Devon Staples (22) accidentally killed himself in a not-so-funny fireworks stunt.
Around 10pm Saturday night, a much loved entertainer named Devon Staples placed a reloadable mortar tube above his head – trying to get a laugh from friends – and lit the firework. Devon’s brother Cody was just a few feet away as the firework went off. Cody stated:
“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.”
Devon and his brother were having their 4th of July celebrations at a house party in Calais, Maine that night. It’s been confirmed that alcohol was involved in the incident.
Cody believes that his brother’s penchant for entertaining others just went too far in the “freak accident”. He said:
“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.”
Devon used to live in Orlando, Florida and worked for Walt Disney World as a performer. His roles included Gaston from “Beauty and the Beast”, and Goofy. So being the jokester was nothing new to the 22 year old.
MouseSteps/JWL Media “Gaston Meet and Greet Near Gaston’s Tavern, New Fantasy Land, Magic Kingdom – Glad To Keep Belle Away” Youtube. 3 March 2014. Web. 6 July 2015.
His mother, Kathleen, gave WBZ NewsRadio 1030 a statement. She said:
“I can’t see a happy boy wanting to destroy himself. He believed it was a dud, he stuck it over his head and he was goofing off.”
After facing the results of such a horrific accident, Kathleen wanted to share a warning. She stated:
“I spent 22 years keeping that boy safe. Do not drink, you need to have a designated sober person that is making life and death decisions with these things. The kid, out of hundreds of people, ended up working for Disney World as Gaston and Goofy. He was talented and bright.”
His friend, Keyleb Mosses, agreed with Kathleen’s sentiment about Devon’s character:
“Happy. He was fun to be around. Definitely life of the party that’s for sure.”
This death is only the first since Maine passed a law to legalize the purchase of fireworks in 2012. Across the U.S. more than eight thousand people are hospitalized every year due to firework injuries. A spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, issued a slightly insensitive statement saying:
“Apparently, he thought that was a great idea. His friends said they thought they had dissuaded him from doing it, and the next thing they knew, he ignited the fireworks and he was killed instantly.”
Cody talked about living in the spirit of his brother, saying that the best way to pay homage to Devon would be to “show some love to someone you don’t know. That kid was all about showing people love.”
RIP Devon Staples and Condolences to the Staples family.