9-Year-Old Girl with Uzi Submachine Gun Accidentally Shoots Gun Instructor Dead

A gun instructor in Arizona has been accidentally shot and killed by a nine-year-old girl he was teaching to fire an automatic Uzi submachine gun.

Charles Vacca, 39, was killed on Monday after being shot in the head at an outdoor shooting range in White Hills. The accident happened when the girl, who authorities said had been taken to the range by her parents, pulled the trigger and the recoil sent the gun over her head.

Vacca was standing next to the girl, who had fired the weapon a number of times in the “single-shot” mode, authorities said, but when it was switched into “fully-automatic” the weapon recoiled as the girl fired the trigger. Vacca died shortly after being airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Mohave County sheriff’s office said.

Ronald Scott, a 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," he said. 

The girl has not been named, and it is not known if the Last Stop range had an age limit or if the girl was going through a safety class.

Mohave County Sheriff's officials released a video, reportedly shot by the child's parents, showing the moments leading up to Vacca's death.

The news of the accident comes a month after a shocking report highlighting the number of accidental deaths involving children and firearms. The groups behind the report, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown, claimed the majority of deaths could have been prevented. The report claims 100 children are killed a year, with an average of two child deaths a week.

Examples used in the report included a two-year-old boy who shot himself in the chest on Christmas Day after picking up a handgun left on a table by his father, and an 11-year-old boy who was shot in the neck after trying to take a gun away from his siblings, who were toddlers.

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