Girl, 9, With Uzi Kills Shooting Instructor

She accidentally shot him as weapon recoiled

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 26, 2014 11:29 PM CDT | Updated Aug 27, 2014 2:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – A shooting range instructor in Arizona is dead after letting a 9-year-old girl fire an Uzi set to fully automatic. Police, who have released a video of the girl taking her first shots, say she safely fired the weapon in "single-shot" mode, but she lost control of the weapon as it recoiled in automatic mode and the instructor was hit by at least one stray bullet as it went over her head, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Instructor Charles Vacca, 39, was "very conscientious and very professional," the manager of the Last Stop outdoor shooting range tells NBC, asking "everybody to pray for Charlie, and pray for the client, she’s going to have a hard time." The "practice at most shooting ranges is 8 years old and up with parental supervision," he says.

The girl was on vacation from New Jersey and her parents were present during the incident on Monday. A firearms safety expert tells the AP that instructors usually keep their hands on the weapon when children fire powerful guns. "You can't give a 9-year-old an Uzi and expect her to control it," he says. A sheriff's office spokesman says no charges will be filed. "It's so easy for us to go back and look at something that's very tragic and say, 'Boy! Why did that occur? That should not have happened because of,'" he tells KVUU. "Well, maybe from now on, that 'because of' will be in place."

The girl is seen receiving instruction at the Arizona range in this image from video released by police.
The girl is seen receiving instruction at the Arizona range in this image from video released by police.   (andrew goodman)
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The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office released this video of the girl's first shots.   (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

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