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Girl, 9, accidentally shoots and kills gun instructor with Uzi

DOLAN SPRINGS, Ariz. (AP) -- A 9-year-old girl accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use an automatic Uzi, authorities said.

Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, died Monday shortly after being airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Mohave County sheriff's officials said Tuesday.

Vacca was standing next to the girl at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range in White Hills when she pulled the trigger and the recoil sent the gun over her head, investigators said.

[The cell phone video below shows only the moments leading up the accident and cuts out before the fatal shot:]
9-Year-Old Firing Uzi Accidentally Kills Instructor

Video released Tuesday by sheriff's officials shows the 9-year-old, wearing a gray T-shirt and pink shorts with her hair pulled back in a long braid, holding the firearm in both hands. Vacca, standing to her left, tells her to turn her left leg forward.

"All right, go ahead and give me one shot," he tells the girl, whose back is to the camera during the entire 27-second video. He then cheers when she fires one round at the target.

"All right full auto," Vacca says. The video, which does not show the actual incident, ends with a series of shots being heard.

Authorities said the girl was at the shooting range with her parents. Her name was not released.

A woman who answered the phone at the shooting range said it had no comment. She did not provide her name.

It is not known if the range had an age limit on shooting or if the girl was going through a safety class.

Ronald Scott, a Phoenix-based firearms safety expert, said most shooting ranges have an age limit and strict safety rules when teaching children to shoot. He said instructors usually have their hands on guns when children are firing high-powered weapons.

"You can't give a 9-year-old an Uzi and expect her to control it," Scott said.

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dtrevdav1 August 27 2014 at 3:41 AM

What moron would put a machine gun in the hands of a nine year old?

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52 replies
lucca90046 August 27 2014 at 3:47 AM

The PARENTS SHOULD BE EXAMINED!

Flag Reply +101 rate up
13 replies
leavesbound August 27 2014 at 4:18 AM

I support gun rights but honestly, anyone who dies as a result of handing an uzi to a small child got exactly what they deserve. I feel sorry for the child who will no doubt have nightmares about this for the rest of her life. What a tragic shame.

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16 replies
Frank Barr August 27 2014 at 3:29 AM

Not a good call, why at 9 does she need to fire an uzi , am pro second amendment, but this is a bad judgment call

Flag Reply +106 rate up
27 replies
adreaadams August 27 2014 at 3:44 AM

In the name of gun rights or some such other; now a nine year old child has a killing on her baby hands. The parents are to be blamed for this 100%

Flag Reply +111 rate up
34 replies
kavincsb August 27 2014 at 6:36 AM

Another avoidable gun death, and of course we see the parade of " what about cars? Lookit all the people killed by cars, are you going to ban cars too? " comments.

Here's the difference between guns, and cars. The purpose of guns is to intimidate, or to injure. That's it. Guns have their applications Properly, correctly used, they either injure, or intimidate. They have NO other use.

The purpose of cars is transportation. To move things---to move you, or to move goods, from one place to another. Properly, correctly used, cars MOVE things. They have no other use.

Every year people are killed using step ladders, letter openers and ice skates. Properly used, these things don't kill---AND we as a society CLEARLY accept the accidental deaths that come from using these items. If society decided to ban step ladders as hazardous, we would. That's the way our system works.

This isn't complicated. The MAJORITY of Americans want guns better controlled, and fewer gun deaths.

Flag Reply +98 rate up
46 replies
screamingeagleaz August 27 2014 at 4:00 AM

I don't think there's anything funny about it. The parents shouldn't have even been allowed to have children if they're going to raise them like that. They need to spend time in jail for being lousy parents! It's CRAP like this that give anti-gun people the ammunition to take guns away forever. They should have been teaching her with a single shot .22 rifle. The parents should have been sterilized.

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22 replies
obiwan49 August 27 2014 at 7:04 AM

The mental capacity of Reich wingers is at a 9 year old level. Why else would they want to train their kids to shoot these weapons.

Flag Reply +86 rate up
22 replies
gapgymboree2 August 27 2014 at 4:17 AM

this is what happens when stupid parents believe in guns , good job americans country's in Latin america that have a high rate of violence you dont see parents giving and teaching they kids to fire guns, Mexico a country that have drug cartels you dont see Mexican parents taking they children to be teach it how to fired a gun, god bless america the country of the smartest people.

Flag Reply +43 rate up
29 replies
neil1236 August 27 2014 at 9:16 AM

Gee, do you think the child was traumatized ?

The parents should be jailed for endangering a child.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
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