The Story of an 8 year-old & an Uzi


The Tragedy of a Child & a Submachine Gun!

Submachines & Kids - A Deadly Combo!


Christopher Bizilj (bah-SEAL’) of Ashford, Conn., and his father, Charles, were on their way to Westfield Sportsman’s Club.

A Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo

Pelham Police Chief Edward Fleury owns the COP Firearms & Training, which was sponsoring the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo.

The show sounded like fun:  An advertisement said it would include machine gun demonstrations and rentals and free handgun lessons.

“It’s all legal & fun — No permits or licenses required!!!!” reads the ad.

“You will be accompanied to the firing line with a Certified Instructor to guide you. But You Are In Control — “FULL AUTO ROCK & ROLL,” the ad said.

Hundreds Came to the Show

The machine gun shoot drew hundreds of people to the sporting club.  Charles Bizilj said his son had experience firing handguns and rifles but the gun show was going to be his first time with an automatic weapon.

With his father 10 feet behind him, reaching for a camera, Christopher took the Uzi in hand and fired.

Chritopher lost control of the 9mm micro submachine gun as it recoiled while he was firing at a pumpkin. He  shot himself in the head.

Legal Outcome

Police Chief Edward Fleury was indicted on involuntary manslaughter, as were Carl Guiffre of Hartford, Conn., and Domenico Spano, of New Milford, Conn.

The latter two men brought the submachine gun to the show after assurances from Fleury that it was legal under Massachusetts law, District Attorney William Bennett said.

Mr. Bennett has a different spin on the issue:  “A Micro Uzi is made by and for the Israeli Special Forces. This weapon has a rate of fire of 1,700 rounds per minute. It is not a hunting weapon.”

Fleury and the club also were indicted on four counts each of furnishing a machine gun to minors.   The club faces a fine of up to $10,000 for each violation.

The Real Tragedy

The “Instructor” who was with Bizilj was a 15 year old who was neither “certified” nor “licensed.”

How does a 15 year-old live with this tragedy for the rest of his life? How do Christopher’s parents reconcile themselves to his loss?

Why Bring This Up Now?

Granted, this is old news; it happened at the end of October. However, we are heading into “Gun Show season” soon.

These extravaganzas are great fun and good learning experiences.  However ….

Ask questions about the set-up, before handing a weapon to a youngster. Ask yourself a question – or two.  Is your child mature enough to handle a gun that shoots live ammo? Can he/she adjust to the recoil?

Safety takes seconds! Grief like this can last a lifetime!


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Published in: on January 6, 2009 at 9:28 pm  Comments (1)