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WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) — An 8-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself in the head while firing an Uzi submachine gun under adult supervision at a gun fair.
The boy lost control of the weapon while firing it Sunday at the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo at the Westfield Sportsman's Club, police Lt. Lawrence Vallierpratte said.
The boy, Christopher Bizilj of Ashford, Conn., was with a certified instructor and "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," a police statement said.

"The weapon was loaded and ready to fire," police Lt. Hipolito Nunez said. "The 8-year-old victim had the Uzi and as he was firing the weapon, the front end of the weapon went up with the backfire and he ended up receiving a round in his head."
Christopher died at Baystate Medical Center.

Police said the boy's father, Charles Bizilj, attended the event with his son. The father is the medical director of emergency medicine at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford Springs, Conn.
Francis Mitchell, a longtime member and trustee of the club, said he was told the boy's father was supporting his son from behind when the accident happened.
"My reaction is shock," said Mitchell, who lives down the street from the club. "In the last five years, there has never been a problem or a bad accident. I've been sick all night."
Although police called it a "self-inflicted accidental shooting," police and the Hampden district attorney's office were investigating, officials said.
"We are going to review all the circumstance regarding what happened, who was involved, what authorities they may or may not have had, who was supervising," District Attorney William Bennett said Monday.
It is legal for children to fire a weapon if they have permission from a parent or legal guardian and are supervised by a properly certified and licensed instructor, Nunez said.
Those conditions were met in this case, he said. He declined to release the supervisor's name.
The club said on its website that the event, run in conjunction with C.O.P Firearms and Training, is "all legal and fun." People are allowed to fire weapons at vehicles, pumpkins and other targets, it said.

ABOUT THE GROUP:

The club said it would offer machine gun demonstrations and rentals and free handgun lessons.
Officials with the private club and the firearms group could not be reached for comment. Messages left on answering machines for the club and the C.O.P. group were not returned Monday.
The sportsman's club was founded in 1949 and describes itself on its website as promoting "the interest of legal sport with rod, gun, and bow and arrow, both directly and through training."

CLUB INFO:

It has eight firing ranges as well as archery and fishing facilities located on 375 acres in Westfield, about 100 miles west of Boston.
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