Adults give Uzi to 8-year-old, who shoots and kills himself

Boys dies in shooting at gun club

By Matt Collette, GLOBE CORRESPONDENT

An event at a Westfield gun club turned tragic today when an 8-year-old boy accidentally shot himself in the head and later died at a Springfield hospital, Westfield Police said.

The child’s death — caused by a fully automatic Uzi machine gun — appears to have been an accident; but it remains under investigation, police said.

The Westfield Police Department released a statement about what they described as a self-inflicted, accidental shooting, which occurred at 2 p.m. at the Westfield Sportsman’s Club on Furrowtown Road.

In a telephone interview tonight, Westfield Police Officer Carl Girard confirmed the boy died of his injuries — a wound to the right side of the head — at Baystate Medical Center. Police did not release the child’s name, nor did they say where he lived. The Springfield Republican reported that the child was not from Westfield.

“Witnesses state that he [the boy] was shooting the weapon down range when the force of the weapon made it travel up and back toward his head, where he suffered the injury,” the police statement read.

The boy’s father was at the event and accompanied him to the hospital, police said.

The sportsman’s club was hosting its annual “Great New England Pumpkin Shoot” during the weekend, police said. Officials from the club could not be reached.

The event was organized by C.O.P. Firearms & Training, an Amherst company which, according to its website, organizes machine gun shoots throughout New England. Officials from that group also could not be reached.

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*****You know, I realize that as an adult not everyone shares my view of the world, and with  issues as hot as gun control and the right to keep and bear arms and what not, I’m prepared to accept a lot of different points of view as being perfectly valid, but I think we can all get together and agree that giving an 8 year old boy a fully automatic Uzi machine gun would be wrong on so many levels, right?

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