Maker Defends Weapon That Killed Boston Student


The weapon that killed Boston college student Victoria Snelgrove last year is widely used around the world and has never caused any other deaths, the manufacturer’s attorney told the Boston Globe. “It’s a true tragic accident,” said James Falk Sr., the Washington, D.C.-based lawyer for FN Herstal. “The client believes its product is both safe and effective when properly used by trained law enforcement officers and military personnel.” He said the FN303, which fires pellets filled with pepper spray that are designed to break apart after hitting the body, is used by the U.S. Army in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout Europe.

Snelgrove, a 21-year-old Emerson College student, was struck in the eye and killed by a pellet fired by Boston police last October while Red Sox fans celebrated the American League championship. Her family, which is getting a $5 million wrongful-death settlement from the City of Boston, is considering a lawsuit against FN Herstal. Police Commissioner Kathleen O’Toole said the department will do a better job of making sure officers are trained on the weapons they are assigned to use.


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