A shooting range instructor from Arizona died on Monday after being shot accidentally by his 9-year-old student. Charles Vacca was training the girl to use an Uzi. In a time when many lawmakers are trying to tighten gun control measures, this accidental shooting has a lot of people questioning whether young children should be allowed to use guns.
Vacca was instructing a 9-year-old girl on how to use an Uzi sub-machine gun at the Last Stop shooting range in White Hills, Arizona. Recoil from the gun caused the Uzi to jerk, and a bullet struck Vacca in the head. The 39-year-old instructor was airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he was later pronounced dead.
See a picture of Vacca and the girl moments before his death below.
LIVE NOW: A 9-year-old girl fires an Uzi at a shooting range; loses control of the weapon and kills her instructor. pic.twitter.com/tN431VHNVw
— Jane Velez-Mitchell (@JVM) August 27, 2014
A video of the incident was released that shows Vacca instructing the girl. “All right, go ahead and give me one shot,” Vacca said, and the girl successfully fired off a round. “All right, full auto,” Vacca said next, and you can see the Uzi jerk before the video cuts off.
View the video of the tragic accident below.
Sam Scarmardo, the owner of the Last Stop shooting range, says he wishes that the child hadn’t been allowed to shoot. “I have regret we let this child shoot, and I have regret that Charlie was killed in the incident,” Scarmardo said. Children reportedly only have to be 8 years old to fire weapons at the gun range.
While Scarmardo regrets the incident, he did say that his shooting range has never had any previous accidental shootings. “We never even issued a Band-Aid,” Scarmardo said.
Arizonans for Gun Safety founder Gerry Hills says that the girl should never have been allowed to use the high-powered weapon. “We have better safety standards for who gets to ride a roller coaster at an amusement park,” Hills said. “I just don’t see any reason in the world why you would allow a 9-year-old to put her hands on an Uzi.”
What is your reaction to this accidental shooting? As you can see from the tweets below, the incident has many wondering why letting kids use such guns is even legal.
How stupid can ppl be? Gun instructor killed in accident on shooting range in AZ by 9 yr old w/ auto Uzi.
— Gustavo (@StaviDoo) August 27, 2014
— Eduardo Villablanca (@ejvillablanca) August 27, 2014
I don't understand how this is legal? Surely her parents and the owners of the shooting range should be in jail? http://t.co/PJqcUSkmYc
— RL (@The_Law_of_LFC) August 27, 2014