A nine-year-old girl has shot dead a firearms instructor at a shooting range in the Arizon desert, police say.
The girl fired a Uzi submachine gun at 39-year-old Charles Vacca at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range, according to reports.
An official from Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said Vacca died in hospital on Monday (August 25).
Sheriff Jim McCabe told the Las Vegas Review-Journal the gun recoiled when the girl pulled the trigger. It went over her head and hit the instructor, who is said to have been standing next to her.
Sheriff McCabe is reported to have said: “The guy just dropped.” He says the instructor was shot in the head at least once.
According to the newspaper, the girl had successfully fired the 9mm Uzi a number of times in “single shot” mode, before Vacca changed the setting to “fully automatic” mode.
The Last Stop ranch creates a “Desert Storm” atmosphere for shooters, its website claims. While there guests can take a guided tour of the 30-acre property, which includes a private range and a certified ex-military firearms instructor. Children must be eight or over to take a tour and those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times.
A selection of fully automatic machine guns and specialty weapons are available to try: “At our range, you can shoot FULL auto on our machine guns. Let ‘em Rip!” advertises the site.
Vacca died within hours of being airlifted to the University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to Sheriff’s officials.
Under Arizona law, children are prohibited from possessing a firearm unless (among other exceptions) they are accompanied by a parent, guardian or an instructor. Deputies said the nine-year-old was at the range with her parents.
No charges have been filed against the shooting range, McCabe told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Image credit: 'Uzi 1', Wikipedia