Family: Girl Said Uzi Was 'Too Much' for Her

They say they're praying for instructor's family
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2014 2:52 AM CDT
Family: Girl Said Uzi Was 'Too Much' for Her
In this image made from video provided by the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, firing-range instructor Charles Vacca is seen just before the deadly accident.   (AP Photo/Mohave County Sheriff Office)

The family of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed a shooting range instructor in Arizona last week rushed to check she was OK after losing control of the Uzi and didn't notice the instructor had been shot until another employee ran over, according to a sheriff's office report. The girl's parents told investigators that the girl said the weapon, which had been set to fully automatic, was "too much for her and hurt her shoulder," reports the Arizona Republic. The other instructor told police "that he saw the girl shoot the weapon and due to the recoil, the weapon went straight up in the air." Instructor Charles Vacca, 39, was killed by a single bullet to the head, and transcripts of 911 calls have been released in which callers from the shooting range plead for help for the injured man, the New York Times reports. "We need a helicopter," one caller said. "An ambulance ain't gonna work." He died shortly after being transported to a Las Vegas medical center.

The police report states that the girl's parents said they were in shock after the incident and just wanted to leave the Bullets and Burgers shooting range and return to Las Vegas. The family has issued a statement through their lawyer saying they are "devastated by this accident that turned what was supposed to be a unique and brief excursion from their summer vacation into a life-changing tragedy," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. "Words cannot express the family's sadness about the accidental shooting of Charles Vacca," the statement says. "They prayed day and night that he would survive his injury, and they continue to pray for his family during this terribly difficult time." (More Bullets and Burgers stories.)

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