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Cannon explosion leads to suspension

A building was damaged when the cannon blew up.
Sunday, May 2, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 7:26 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The MU chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order faced criticism from both its national organization and the MU Office of Greek Life after a cannon exploded on the front lawn of the fraternity’s house Thursday night.

Three members of the organization have been arrested in connection with the incident.

The National Administrative Office of Kappa Alpha announced in a press release Friday that the MU chapter had been suspended. The suspension will bring to an end all activities scheduled by the chapter, pending further investigation.

Larry Wiese, executive director of Kappa Alpha, said in the release the fraternity regrets the incident and “KA policy prohibits the possession or firing of any type of firearms on fraternity property.”

The cannon, which sat on the front lawn of the fraternity house, was not “live,” according to Mary Jo Banken, director of the MU News Bureau, but is meant to represent the fraternity’s “spiritual founder,” Robert E. Lee. Banken said many Kappa Alpha houses use the cannon as a symbol, whether in pictures or in their lobbies.

Kappa Alpha President Seth R. Fagan and Vice President Nicholas A. Adkins were arrested Thursday on suspicion of reckless exploding, unlawful use of a weapon, first-degree property damage and third-degree assault.

At 4:30 a.m. Friday, Daniel B. Dunn came to the police concerning the explosion and was arrested on the same charges as Adkins and Fagan, police said. All three were released from jail Friday after posting $11,000 bond each.

Jenna Basler, the director of MU’s Office of Greek Life, issued a statement Friday saying that “appropriate disciplinary measures will be put in place” once an investigation determines whether the fraternity allowed the event or if certain members acted alone.

The explosion blew out a second-floor window at the nearby University Place apartments and sent an 8-inch piece of iron through the building’s roof and the floor of the building’s top level. No one was hurt in the incident.


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