UK & World News

  • 29 August 2014, 19:48

Uzi Death A Tragic Accident - Victim's Family

The family of a shooting instructor accidentally killed by a nine-year-old girl while he was teaching her to fire an Uzi submachine gun, say they feel sorry for the youngster.

Charles Vacca, 39, had been showing the girl how to use the automatic weapon at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range in White Hills, Arizona, when she pulled the trigger and the recoil sent the gun over her head, investigators said.

Mr Vacca was hit in the head and airlifted to University Medical Centre in Las Vegas but died shortly afterwards.

His 19-year-old daughter, Ashley, told NBC's Today show: "We know it was a tragic accident and that it's something that we're all going to have to live with.

"We really do want the prayers to be going out to the family of the little girl."

She planned to write a letter to the girl's family.

"Our thoughts and our prayers are with them. We don't want their life to revolve around this," she added.

Mr Vacca's ex-wife, Anamarie, said: "My heart goes out to the little girl and I feel sorry for her and for her family."

She added: "Charles was definitely a good person and he was a good dad. He loved his children very much, and family was very important."

The youngster, who has not been named, was on holiday from New Jersey with her parents.

Prosecutors have said they will not file charges.

Police released footage, reportedly filmed by the girl's parents, of the moments immediately before the tragedy.

It shows Mr Vacca helping the girl hold the gun, adjust her stance and then fire a single shot.

His last words to her are: "All right, full auto."

Mohave County Sheriff Jim McCabe told the Las Vegas Review-Journal the video was "ghastly".

Firearms safety expert Ronald Scott said most ranges have an age limit and strict safety rules when teaching children how to shoot.

Instructors usually have their hands on guns when children are firing high-powered weapons, he said.

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