A 9-year-old girl in Arizona accidentally killed her instructor at a shooting range while learning to fire an automatic Uzi. The weapon recoiled over her shoulder and shot 39-year-old Charles Vacca, who was standing next to her, according to police reports.
A cell phone video released by authorities on Tuesday shows the moments before the child fired the shots.
In the footage, Vacca shows the girl how to hold the gun. As the instructor then adjusts the Uzi, places his right hand on her back and his left under her right arm, she fires several rounds in rapid succession and the gun kicks to the left as she loses control.
The video ends before the fatal head shot.
Vacca was reportedly airlifted to a hospital in Las Vegas, where he died late Monday night.
According to the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, the girl was with her parents at Bullets and Burgers, the shooting range where the accident happened. Their website states that children between the ages of 8 and 17 are allowed to shoot a weapon if accompanied by a parent or guardian.
While the Arizona police are further investigating the case, hundreds of Internet users are criticizing the range and the girl’s parents for letting a 9-year-old near automatic weapons.
A Redditor posted the following remark:
“A fully automatic short barreled gun like an Uzi is the hardest type of weapon to handle. There's no way she should have even been allowed to touch it while loaded. 100% preventable, its too bad she will likely feel responsible for the rest of her life.”
“9 years old is far far too young to be firing an automatic weapon. Even with all the training in the world, the recoil on such a small barrel at that rate of fire is a terrible risk to the child and those around her.”
Here are some comments from Twitter:
A 9 year old child accidentally kills shooting instructor while firing an UZI. Why the feck would you teach a 9 year old to use an Uzi?— Greg Shockey?? (@gwshockey) August 27, 2014
I rarely talk about real political issues here, but what the fuck. Why the fuck would you give a 9 year old an UZI?— Denny Kovacs (@PI3KY) August 27, 2014
"You can't give a 9-year-old an Uzi and expect her to control it." No shit.— punyweakling (@punyweakling) August 27, 2014