Boy, 8, dies after accidental shooting at gun club
Police say wound was self-inflicted
By Matthew P. Collette, Globe Correspondent | October 27, 2008
An 8-year-old boy died yesterday at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield after he accidentally shot himself in the head at a Westfield gun club, Westfield Police reported.
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.
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 last night, Westfield Police Officer Carl Girard confirmed the boy died of his injuries at the hospital. Police did not release the child's name nor did they say where he was from. The Springfield Republican reported that the child was not from Westfield.
"Witnesses state that he 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.
When emergency crews arrived, the boy was conscious but in serious condition with a gunshot wound on the right side of his head.
Police said the boy's father, who was at the event, accompanied him to the hospital.
The Westfield 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.
Information on the club's website explained participants did not need a permit or license and would be accompanied on the range by a certified instructor.
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.