Stuntman dies after being blasted in chest with shotgun in hip hop music video

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A stuntman was fatally shot in the chest on the set of a hip hop music video after a horror prop mixup.

Johann Ofner, 28, was working on a production for rap trio Bliss N Eso in January 23, 2017, in Brisbane, Australia, when the tragedy unfolded.

The dad, previously a contestant on Australian Ninja Warrior, was shot at close range with a sawn-off shotgun, which had been misidentified as a prop.

It was never test-fired before filming, an inquest in the city was told.

Other blank-fire weapons and replica automatic weapons were used alongside the shotgun, the Australian Associated Press reports.

During the scene, the weapon was loaded with “blank” shotgun cartridges and Johann was equipped with a vest.

His horrified colleagues then realised Mr Ofner had been shot, and he was later pronounced dead at the scene.

A projectile from the blank cartridge penetrated his chest and lacerated his heart, 7News reports.

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant John Fleming said armourer Warren Ritchie was hired by production company Dreamers Creative ahead of the shoot.

Mr Ritchie, who has since passed away, was responsible for the firearms.

Det Sgt Fleming said: “The shortened shotgun was a live-fire, Category H weapon and should not have been brought on set.

“There were a number of offences identified during the investigation… including the unlawful manufacture of the ammunition.

“Possibly there needs to be a more stringent overview of the industry – there did not appear to be any checks done to see that they were complying with legislation.”

Mr Ritchie was investigated over the potential offences, but prosecution never began.

Sgt Fleming claimed there was confusion on the set over who was in charge of safety.

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Manufacturer Adam Corless designed the blanks, but wasn’t aware they were being used for the production.

He said: “I wouldn’t have made them. It needs to be treated as though it is normal ammunition.”

Stunt coordinator Judd Wild added: “If I thought there was any risk of him being struck by a projectile we wouldn’t have done the scene, full stop.”

Johann’s mum Maria Ofner described her eldest son as a man who “could light up a room”.

She has since been diagnosed with terminal cancer and went on: “My grief will follow me to my grave.”

Mr Ofner is survived by his partner Kati Garnett and seven-year-old daughter Kyarna.

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