Charges Brought in Machine Gun Death of 8 yr. Old
- From: "tiny dancer" <tinydancer@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 00:47:04 -0500
I'd have charged the kids father also.
Police chief is charged in boy's death at gun fair
By Michael Levenson
Posted: 12/04/2008 07:21:07 PM PST
A small-town police chief who authorities say promoted, organized, and
profited from a firearms exposition where children were encouraged to shoot
machine guns and where an 8-year-old killed himself with a Micro Uzi was
charged Thursday with involuntary manslaughter.
Although the event was promoted as an opportunity for children to fire
machine guns under the supervision of certified instructors, 8-year-old
Christopher K. Bizilj had been supervised by a 15-year-old boy who was
"knowledgeable about guns" but not certified as a firearms instructor,
Hampden District Attorney William M. Bennett said in outlining charges
against Pelham Police Chief Edward B. Fleury and two others.
The Oct. 26 death at the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo at the
Westfield Sportsman's Club horrified the region and provoked outcry from
parents, lawmakers, and some gun enthusiasts who condemned it as a senseless
In the event, the 8-year-old's father, Dr. Charles Bizilj, stood 10-feet
behind his son while the boy aimed at a pumpkin with an automatic weapon
that fires 1,700 rounds a minute and is notoriously difficult to handle.
When Christopher squeezed the trigger, the gun jerked out of control and
fired a bullet into the right side of his head.
Thursday's indictment was authorities' attempt to assess responsibility for
Bennett said the boy's father had taken Christopher to the gun show and
chose the Micro Uzi for him to fire
but would not be charged. "He is already being punished and will continue to
be punished" in mourning Christopher's death for the rest of his life,
Fleury, Pelham's police chief of 22 years, was singled out as the central
force behind the expo. He organized it through a business he ran, COP
Firearms & Training, and marketed it in advertisements that said that the $5
entry fee was waived for children under age 16 and that there was "no age
limit or licenses required to shoot machine guns."
Bennett said Fleury took a portion of the proceeds from the event. He was
charged with involuntary manslaughter, which carries a penalty of up to 20
years in prison. Fleury was also charged with four counts of furnishing a
machine gun to a person under 18, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Bennett said three of the counts stemmed from other instances in which
minors were allowed to fire machine guns at the expo.
Two Connecticut gun dealers who supplied the Micro Uzi and other machine
guns for the expo, Carl Giuffre of Hartford and Domenico Spano of New
Milford, were each charged with involuntary manslaughter.
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