Boston won't use pellet guns blamed in fan's death

Updated: February 22, 2007, 9:08 AM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- The Boston Police Department is getting rid of the pepper-pellet guns blamed for the death of a college student during Red Sox celebrations more than two years ago.

"Never. They'll never again be used in the city of Boston," police Commissioner Edward Davis told the Boston Herald for Thursday's editions.

The department's 13 pellet guns, bought before the 2004 Democratic National Convention, will be melted down and recycled into sewer caps.

The weapons, designed to deliver non-lethal force, haven't been used since Oct. 21, 2004 when Emerson College student Victoria Snelgrove died hours after being struck in the left eye with a pellet fired by police.

Snelgrove's death, which occurred as thousands of people celebrated the Red Sox's American League Championship Series Game 7 victory over the New York Yankees, was the only time the weapons were used by Boston police. Two other revelers were struck in the head and survived.

Davis decided they weren't fit for the department. The weapons were "much more powerful than what they were perceived to be," he said.

The department will use horse patrols or pepper spray foggers for future crowd control issues, Davis said.

Boston paid a $5.1 million settlement to Snelgrove's parents. The Snelgroves also reached an undisclosed settlement with the gun's manufacturer.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press