Charles Vacca, 39, died on Monday after a 9-year-old accidentally shot the firing range instructor with an Uzi.

9-Year-Old Accidentally Kills Shooting Range Instructor With Uzi

Vacca worked as an instructor at the Bullets and Burgers shooting range near Dolan Springs, Arizona, and was teaching a young girl how to fire an Uzi when the accident occurred Monday morning. Video captured by the girl’s parents shows the 9-year-old effectively firing the Uzi in single-shot mode, but when Vacca switched the firearm to automatic, the recoil led to an involuntary movement of the gun, and Vacca was shot in the head.

“Vacca was standing next to the girl while he was instructing her how to use [the] weapon when the accident happened. Further investigation determined the girl pulled the trigger on the automatic Uzi, he recoil sent the gun over her head and the victim was shot,” reads a statement from the Sheriff’s Office.

Vacca was taken to a hospital and died late Monday night. Mohave County Sheriff Jim McCabe said that his office had investigated the shooting and found that the shooting was a tragic accident. They have not filed any charges or citations.

“It is a terrible tragedy for all the people involved to say the least. We made the determination that it was just that, an accident,” McCabe said.

According to a Mohave County Sheriff spokesperson, the girl and her parents are from New Jersey and they provided uncensored video of the incident to the police – a short version was then released to the press. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is conducting an investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been contacted.

Bullets and Burgers operator, Sam Scarmado, said he regrets allowing the girl to handle an automatic weapon, despite her parents’ consent. “I have regret we let this child shoot, and I have regret that Charlie was killed in the incident,” Scarmando said.

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