Nine-year-old shoots and kills her gun instructor

By Kirstin Buick
27 August 2014

Charles Vacca was teaching a 9-year-old girl to shoot an Uzi at a shooting range in White Hills, Arizona, but the little girl lost control of the weapon as it recoiled.

The last words Charles Vacca spoke were, "Alright, full auto."

He was teaching a 9-year-old girl to shoot an Uzi at a shooting range in White Hills, Arizona, but the little girl lost control of the weapon as it recoiled, sending it firing into Vacca's head (39). The girl's parents had been filming the fatal lesson. At the outset of the video, Vacca explains that the weapon must be held with both hands at all times, and where the little girl should place her feet. “We have to keep that held in,” he says, showing her the Uzi in his hands. “Otherwise the gun won’t fire, OK?”

'The guy just dropped'

After she successfully fires her first shot, Vacca tells his young pupil to adjust her position and squeeze the trigger again. "Alright, full auto," he says. As the girl fires, she loses her grip of the Uzi and it veers left, hitting Vacca in the head.

Mohave County Sheriff Jim McCabe said watching the full video of the shooting was "ghastly", the Daily Mail reports.

"The guy just dropped," he said.

Vacca, who suffered more than one gunshot to the head, was airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he died later that night. Vacca was a married father and an army veteran.

PHOTO: facebook.com/charles.vacca PHOTO: facebook.com/charles.vacca

Sheriff McCabe says no charges can be filed because the shooting range, Bullet and Burgers, is a licensed business.

"We really don't know what happened," operator Sam Scarmardo told KLAS-TV. "Our guys are trained to basically hover over people when they're shooting. If they're shooting right-handed, we have our right-hand behind them ready to push the weapon out of the way. And if they're left-handed, the same thing."

Charles with his best friend Robert Vera during their army days. PHOTO: facebook.com/charles.vacca Charles with his best friend Robert Vera during their army days. PHOTO: facebook.com/charles.vacca

In Arizona, a person must be at least 18 to carry a firearm, but this does not apply if the minor is assisted by a parent or a certified instructor.

Ronald Scott, a Phoenix-based firearms safety expert told the National Post generally shooting ranges have an age restriction and strict safety rules when children are handling the weapons. He added that instructors usually hold high-powered weapons steady when handle high-powered weapons like the Isreali-made Uzi.

Sources: azfamily.com, dailymail.co.uk, latimes.com, nationalpost.com

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