9-Year-Old Girl Accidentally Kills Shooting Range Instructor

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Girl Accidentally Kills Shooting Range Instructor

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Girl Accidentally Kills Shooting Range Instructor

A 9-year-old girl vacationing with her family accidentally shot and killed an instructor at a shooting range, authorities said.

The shooting happened at 10 a.m. Monday at Arizona Last Stop, a tourist spot southeast of Las Vegas.

According to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, the instructor – identified as Charles Vacca, 39 – was standing next to the girl, teaching her how to use an automatic Uzi. The girl’s parents stood nearby, capturing video of the experience.

As the girl pulled the trigger, the recoil caused her to lose control of the gun, with Vacca accidentally shot in the head, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said. Vacca was flown to University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Sam Scarmardo, the gun range operator, was distraught about Vacca's death.

"It's like losing a brother," Scarmardo said. "These aren't employees or associates of ours, these are family. We're all family."

Many gun ranges allow children who are 8 years and older – with parental supervision – to shoot firearms, Scarmardo said.

"We instruct kids as young as 5 on .22 rifles, and they don't get to handle high firearms, but they're under the supervision of their parents and of our professional range masters," Scarmardo said.

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