WESTFIELD, Mass. -- 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 Valliere said.
The boy 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. Police called it a "self-inflicted accidental shooting."
The victim was taken to Baystate Medical Center where he died. His name was not released.
Although the death appears to be an accident, police and the Hampden district attorney's office were investigating, officials said. A message left with the district attorney's office was not immediately returned.
The club said on its Web site that the event, run in conjunction with C.O.P Firearms and Training, is "all legal and fun." People will be allowed to fire weapons at vehicles, pumpkins and other targets, it said.
Officials with the private club and the firearms group could not be reached for comment. A message left on a club answering machine was not returned. The C.O.P. group's machine clicked off without taking a message.
The sportsman's club was founded in 1949 and describes itself on its Web site as an organization that promotes "the interest of legal sport with rod, gun, and bow and arrow, both directly and through training."
It has eight firing ranges as well as archery and fishing facilities located on 375 acres in Westfield, about 100 miles west of Boston.