The Arizona gun range instructor who was accidentally shot in the head by a 9-year-old girl he was teaching how to fire an Uzi has been identified as Charles Vacca, 39.
He died of his injuries Monday night after being airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
A video of Vacca explaining to the girl how to use an Uzi machine pistol has been released (see embed below), but it's edited so that it ends before the fatal shot or shots. The last thing that is audible on the footage at the outdoor shooting range is Vacca indicating the weapon is in the "full auto" mode. Evidently she lost control of the weapon at the point.
The girl and her parents were on vacation in the area from New Jersey, and the parents reportedly took the cell phone video at the Bullets and Burgers/Last Stop shooting range in White Hills, Ariz., on U.S. Highway 93, about 25 miles south of Las Vegas.
According to the Mohave County Sheriff Jim McCabe, "The girl safely and successfully fired the 9 mm weapon several times when it was set in the 'single-shot' mode... the weapon was put into the 'fully-automatic' mode before the girl fired again with the instructor standing off to her left. The weapon recoiled and drifted left as the girl squeezed off an undetermined number of rounds as she maintained possession but lost control of the Uzi as it raised up above her head," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. The child was uninjured.
Vacca, of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., was a married father and a U.S. Army veteran.
The Bullets and Burgers website explains in part that "Our guests have the opportunity to fire a wide range of fully automatic machine guns and specialty weapons. You will choose the guns which you want to shoot from our extensive collection and we provide the eye/ear protection, ammunition, and expert guidance. Our guests have an opportunity to choose from a wide variety of machine guns."
As it stands, no charges will be filed in this tragic accident "as the shooting range is a licensed and legal operation," the sheriff added. Authorities in Clark County, Nev., will be performing an autopsy on the deceased instructor to determine the official cause of death.
[image via Shutterstock]