A chilling video shown in Hampden Superior Court today captured the moment an 8-year-old boy from Connecticut fatally shot himself with an Uzi submachine gun at a 2008 gun show in western Massachusetts.
The video, which showed the boy squeezing the trigger and the automatic weapon suddenly tilting upward and then backward in his small hands before he apparently shot himself, elicited shrieks from shocked spectators in the courtroom and the jury box.
Christopher Bizilj's father, Charles Bizilj, a surgeon from Connecticut, sat on the witness stand during the showing of the video on several monitors, but kept his gaze downward with his hands clasped on his lap.
Nearby Edward Fleury, the former Westfield police chief who is on trial for manslaughter because he was an organizer of the event, also kept his gaze down and away from the monitor on the table in front of him. Fleury's trial started two weeks ago but was delayed for several days when Fleury fell ill in the courtroom and had to be hospitalized.
Earlier Dr. Bizilj of Ashford, Conn., said he and his son Christopher, as well as Christopher's older brother, Colin, 11, had checked out the Oct. 26, 2008 show at the Westfield Sportsman's Cub and had a lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs before they decided they were interested in firing the submachine gun.
Bizilj testified that his father-in-law, who was also along for the trip, shot the Uzi, then Bizilj shot the Uzi, and then Colin fired the Uzi. But the Uzi jammed for Colin and a "rangemaster" -- the person in charge of safety on the range -- switched the group to an even smaller "micro-Uzi" gun. Colin fired that weapon a little more.
Then, Bizilj said, Christopher said, "Dad, can it be my turn now?"
Bizilj said his youngest son fired 10 rounds, then the gun jammed. Bizilj said he was taking pictures and fiddling with his camera when he looked up to find his son was no longer in the viewfinder. He rushed over to find his son on the ground and put his hand behind him to pick him up only to find his head had been grievously wounded.
"I think you can imagine this has gone through my head a thousand times," Bizilj said, referring to his decision to bring his sons to the show.
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