Charles Vacca, a military veteran and gun range instructor, was shot and killed by a nine-year-old girl today (Aug. 27) in a firing mishap that raises questions about allowing children to shoot high-powered military style weapons.
A shocking video, released by the Mojave County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona, shows Vacca instructing the girl, dressed in a gray tee-shirt and pink shorts with her hair tied in a ponytail.
Vacca, 39, encourages her after she fires off a round at a target against an embankment off in the distance. But moments later she loses control of the gun because of the recoil and a bullet strikes Vacca.
Her parents were filming the lesson and turned the video over to deputy sheriff’s investigating the incident.
The video, edited by authorities, ends just before the instructor is shot.
The incident took place at the Last Stop shooting range in White Hills, Ariz.
he girl was reportedly firing the Uzi on automatic when she lost her her grip on the mini-machine gun.
According to the shooting range’s Web site, children as young as 8 are permitted to fire weapons if they are accompanied by a parent.
“We really don’t know what happened. Our guys are trained to basically hover over people when they’re shooting,” Range operator Sam Scarmardo told local television station Klas TV.
“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,” he said, describing safety protocol.
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