"Someone shot him point-blank in the stomach with a Verey light"

A Verey (or Very) light is a single-shot flare gun. It is named after its inventor, American naval officer Edward Wilson Very. It was not intended to be used as a weapon, but could be deadly at close range.   

 

British Verey style flare gun from WWI.
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBritish Verey style flare gun from WWI. - Credit: Andy Dingley