An instructor at an outdoor shooting range in Arizona was fatally shot in the head by a 9-year-old girl who was learning to use a firearm, authorities announced Tuesday.
Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, was airlifted to a hospital in Las Vegas after the Monday morning shooting at Last Stop in White Hills, Arizona, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office announced.
Vacca had been teaching a 9-year-old female student, who was at the shooting range with her parents, how to use an automatic Uzi, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He was standing next to her when he was struck.
“The girl pulled the trigger on the automatic Uzi, the recoil sent the gun over her head and the victim was shot,” a Sheriff’s Office statement read.
The instructor was working at Bullets and Burgers shooting range, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times, saying that the girl and her family were visiting the range while on vacation.
“This is a rarity for something like this to happen,” the spokeswoman told the newspaper.
Vacca was pronounced dead about 9 p.m. Monday.
An autopsy was set to be performed by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office in Nevada.
It was not clear what model of Uzi, an Israeli maker of submachine guns, was used in the shooting.
Video of the moments before the shooting was apparently released by the Sheriff’s Office Tuesday, according to various reports. It was posted on the Arizona Republic’s website, among others.
It showed a male instructor in sunglasses and camouflage pants showing a girl in a T-shirt and pink shorts how to fire the weapon at a paper target at the other end of a dirt shooting range.
“We have to keep that held in,” he said in the video, holding the weapon in gloved hands before giving it to her. “Otherwise the gun won’t fire, OK?”
“All right, go ahead and give me one shot,” the man said, and the girl fired.
“All right. All right, pull out,” he said.
She fired the gun again, and the video ends.