U.S. News

Police probe gun show after boy killed by Uzi

BOSTON (Reuters) - Authorities in Massachusetts are investigating a gun fair where an 8-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself in the head with an Uzi submachine gun while under adult supervision, police said on Monday.

Christopher Bizilj lost control of the weapon on Sunday at the Machine Gun Shoot & Firearms Expo at a sportsman’s club in Westfield, a city about 96 miles west of the state capital Boston, police said.

He was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Under Massachusetts law, children can legally fire a weapon if they are supervised by a licensed instructor and have consent from a parent or legal guardian, but gun control advocates said the boy should never have been allowed to fire the military-grade weapon.

“An Uzi or AK-47 should never be in the hands of an 8-year-old. It’s a weapon of war. It’s used on a battlefield by trained soldiers,” said Jerry Belair, legislative director for Stop Handgun Violence, a Massachusetts nonprofit.

Westfield Police Lt. Hipolito Nunez said local and state police, the Hampden district attorney and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were investigating the shooting.

He said they were looking into whether the boy from Ashford, Connecticut, had parental consent and whether the gun fair followed state laws.

Officials of the private club could not be reached for comment.

Reporting by Jason Szep; Editing by Eric Walsh