A 9-year-old girl lost control of an uzi machine gun and accidentally shot and killed her shooting instructor.
Charles Vacca, of Lake Havasu City, was shot at least once in the head according to the Mohave County Sheriff’s office. He was airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The freak accident occurred Monday at an outdoor shooting range at The Last Stop, a full service RV Park and tourist attraction in White Hills, Arizona.
Mohave County Sheriff’s officials released a video to the media showing the moments leading up to the shooting. The video shows Vacca standing next to the girl while he was instructing her how to fire the machine gun
The girl, who was visiting from New Jersey with her parents, successfully fired a single shot at a target.
Vacca then set the switch on the gun to fully automatic and instructed the girl to shoot again at the target. But the powerful recoil kicked the machine gun backward and toward her left — where Vacca was standing.
The girl squealed as Vacca was hit. Then the video ended abruptly.
The Last Stop’s shooting range website offers tourists the opportunity to fire a fully automatic Uzi machine gun, which is illegal to sell in the United States. The shooting range doesn’t emphasize gun safety; instead, it is a money pit where adults and children as young as 8 can step up and pay cash to operate a fully automatic Uzi as long as the minor is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Sam Scarmardo, the manager for the Last Stop’s shooting range, told NBC News that Vacca was “a great guy with a great sense of humor.”
He said there has never been an accident at the shooting range in its 10 years of operation — “not even a scratch.”
“I just ask everybody to pray for Charlie, and pray for [the girl], she’s going to have a hard time,” Scarmado said.
No charges have been filed in Vacca’s death.