Girl, 9, with Uzi kills instructor at US shooting range after losing control | South China Morning Post
  • Thu
  • Jan 22, 2015
  • Updated: 8:25pm

Girl, 9, with Uzi kills instructor at US shooting range after losing control

Pony-tailed and wearing pink shorts, skinny child loses control of 3.5kg sub-machine gun's recoil, spraying shots at Arizona shooting range

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2014, 5:58pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 August, 2014, 9:50am

A nine-year-old girl accidentally killed a shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use an Uzi sub-machine gun, authorities in the United States said.

Charles Vacca, 39, died on Monday shortly after being airlifted to University Medical Centre in Las Vegas, sheriff's officials in Mohave county, Arizona, said.

WATCH: The moments before a girl accidentally shoots her instructor dead

Vacca was standing next to the girl at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range in White Hills when she pulled the trigger and the recoil sent the automatic weapon over her head.

Authorities said the girl was at the range with her parents, who were reportedly on holiday. Her name was not released.

A woman who answered the phone at the shooting range said it had no comment.

It is not known if the range had an age limit on shooting or if the girl was going through a safety class.

Ronald Scott, a firearms safety expert, said most US shooting ranges had an age limit and strict safety rules when teaching children to shoot.

He said instructors usually had their hands on guns when children were firing high-powered weapons.

You can’t give a nine-year-old an Uzi and expect her to control it

"You can't give a nine-year-old an Uzi and expect her to control it," Scott said.

A video of the incident, apparently shot by a bystander using a mobile phone, was released by the Mohave County Sheriff's Office.

The video shows Vacca cocking the black machinegun before handing it over to the skinny little girl, wearing pink shorts and with her hair pulled back in a ponytail.

"OK, we've got to keep that held in, otherwise the gun won't fire, OK?" Vacca tells the girl.

He then passes the machinegun to the girl, whose hands dip as she takes the weight of the 3.5kg weapon.

"Put this leg forward, just like that," Vacca encourages her as he adjusts her stance, keeping one hand in the small of her back and the other cradling the girl's bent elbows as she levels the gun at a man-shaped target about 20 metres away.

"Lemme give you one shot," says Vacca, and the girl fires a single shot which raises a plume of dust behind the target.

"All right!" says Vacca, who is dressed in camouflage trousers, a dark T-shirt and sunglasses. He then leans across with his right hand and flicks a switch on the side of the gun, which can be heard to click.

"All right, full auto …," says Vacca, his words cut off as the gun releases a spray of automatic fire and then jerks sharply upwards in the girl's grip, in the direction of the instructor's head.

The video halts before the results of the gunfire can be seen.


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