Uzi Instructor's Family: We Feel 'Sorry' for the Girl
Family of Charles Vacca is sending prayers to unidentified girl
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2014 5:45 PM CDT
In this Aug. 25, 2014 image made from video provided by the Mohave County Sheriff Department, firing-range instructor Charles Vacca, left, shows a 9-year old girl how to use an Uzi.   (AP Photo/Mohave County Sheriff Department)

(Newser) – The family of a gun instructor shot dead by a 9-year-old girl this week feels "sorry" for her and hopes she can learn to move on, the AP reports. "That's truly how we feel," said Anamarie Vacca, ex-wife of instructor Charles Vacca. "I know we're going to let her know to not revolve her life around it." Charles' daughter Ashley, 19, also reached out to the unidentified girl who mistakenly killed her dad while learning to fire an Uzi, NBC News reports. "We really do want the prayers to be going out to the family of the little girl," Ashley said on the Today show from California, where she lives. "Our thoughts and our prayers are with them. We don’t want their life to revolve around this."

Also on the show, Anamarie said her ex-husband's death came as "a shock to the entire family." She described him as "a good person" and "a good dad" who loved his children and valued family. He was "a fun person to be around," added Charles' 14-year-old son, Tyler. "We used to wrestle with him all the time." The Vacca family's support comes in stark contrast the "storm of criticism and anger" unleashed by the story, mostly directed at the girl's parents, the AP notes. Groups opposed to gun violence say children shouldn't be allowed to use such heavy-duty weapons. (The range owner said it was the first-ever accident at his business.)

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Aug 30, 2014 8:55 PM CDT
To say that this instructor was "shot dead" by the girl isn't really accurate. Being shot means being struck by a bullet fired from a gun, and he was not; he was struck by the gun itself as it recoiled, or at least that is what I have read. It doesn't really make a whole lot of difference, but the media should try to be accurate.
Aug 30, 2014 11:23 AM CDT
This is a terrible accident as all accidents are. I have over 40 years experience with countless weaponry from pistols to tanks within in my military and civilian life. I (fortunately) have never had any accidents due the "strictness" I demand for everyone around me whether I am the instructor or a participant. This, like many accidents, could and should have been avoided. 1. She is too young for many reasons that I thought was common sense. The instructor should not have permitted this when working with the public - parent present or not. 2. Twelve is a good "starting" age. Even then, the Instructor must thoroughly teach the operation and danger of ANY weapon to a child or adult (KISS). 3. The Instructor must initially hold the weapon with the 12 year old when shooting it. Upon full confidence in the student he should always be directly behind the student ready to intervene for any potential problem. 4. Also, I would not give any child driving lessons for the same danger potential danger to them, me or others.
Aug 30, 2014 10:39 AM CDT
Say hello to her little friend!