Girl, 9, accidentally shot, killed instructor with Uzi - 8 News NOW

Girl, 9, accidentally shot, killed instructor with Uzi

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LAS VEGAS — A 39-year-old shooting instructor accidentally shot by one of his 9-year-old students on Monday has died, according to the Mohave County Sheriff's Office.

The man has been identified as Charles Vacca of Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

The incident happened Monday morning at the Bullets and Burgers gun range on North Highway 93 in Dolan Springs.

The Mohave County Sheriff's Office released video of the moments before the accident. It does not show the shooting, but it is a key piece of evidence.

The 9-year-old girl is seen holding an Uzi with Vacca standing beside her, showing her how to hold the weapon.

"Vacca was standing next to the girl while he was instructing her how to use to weapon when the accident happened. Further investigations determined the girl pulled the trigger on the automatic Uzi, the recoil sent the gun over her head and the victim was shot," a news release said.

The girl's parents were with her when the shooting occurred, the sheriff's office said.

The range operator said they've never had any type of incident at the Dolan Springs location, or at their Lake Havasu range, which has been open for 12 years.

He said safety is always stressed with each and every client.

“We really don't know what happened. Our guys are trained to basically hover over people when they're shooting. 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," operator Sam Scarmardo said.

The staff is grieving, but they're also remembering the man who lost his life. Vacca was well-liked, a veteran, and loving husband.

Vacca was airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas where he died Monday evening.

In Nevada and Arizona, it is up to the gun range to allow a particular minor to fire a gun.

Investigators said no laws were broken, but the Bullets and Burgers gun range has already changed its procedures after this tragic accident.

Shooters will have to be at least 5 feet tall or 12 years or older to shoot.

The people at the range not only are thinking of their fallen friend, but also about that 9-year-old girl.

Dolan Springs is located about 78 miles southeast of Las Vegas in Arizona.

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