A Virginia teen died two days before Christmas when a World War II-style hand grenade detonated. Authorities with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said the explosive was likely purchased last year at an antique shop in North Carolina.
The explosive, described by the ATF as an MK2 grenade, likely came from Fancy Flea Antique Mall in Shallote, a coastal town about 100 miles south of Fayetteville. All parties believed the explosives were inert.
"At the time of sale, neither the vendor nor buyer(s) believed the grenades to be functioning or hazardous," the ATF said in a statement.
The teen, whose identity has not been released, died on December 23 in Abingdon, Virginia. The ATF is assisting Abingdon Police with the investigation. Authorities have not said if the teen was the one who purchased the grenade.
Other similar grenades may have been sold by the same vendor in June 2020 and are "yet to be accounted for." Following news of the unnamed teen's death, the antique mall released a statement saying it was "very sorry that this has occurred" and that "there was only one other grenade sold the next day by the same vendor."
Because cash transactions are common at the shop, the ATF does not know how many explosives may have been sold. However, they are still searching for those who may have purchased a grenade. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the North Carolina Field Division at 704-716-1800 or the ATF tip. line at 1-800-283-8477.
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