Federal officials are urging the manufacturer of the pepper-pellet gun that took the life of a Boston college student last fall to respond to assertions by the Israel Police that raise questions about the weapon’s accuracy, the Boston Globe reports. In a letter last week to FN Herstal USA, Sarah Hart, director of the National Institute of Justice, said tests by the Israel Police of the FN303, which shoots pepper projectiles, concluded that accuracy “decreased significantly” after 300 rounds were fired. The weapon, which Boston police fired into a crowd celebrating the Red Sox pennant victory, could play a pivotal role in the student-death investigation. Israeli officials reported that a representative of FN Herstal told them that the company expected to recall or modify the weapon, the Hart letter says.
Boston police stopped using the weapons after the Emerson College student, was struck in the eye and killed when police fired at unruly fans. Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O’Toole and lawyer Donald K. Stern, who chairs a committee investigating the case, plan to seek independent testing of the actual weapons that killed the student and injured other fans to determine how accurate they are.