9-Year-Old Girl Shoots & Kills Firing Range Instructor With an Uzi

A 9-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed a gun range instructor in Arizona after she was handed an Uzi and taught how to fire it.

Charles Vacca, 39, was shot in the head at the Bullets and Burgers gun range after the instructor reportedly handed the automatic Uzi to the little girl and provided a step-by-step tutorial on how to use it. Her parents actually filmed the entire thing on their phones. They were reportedly on vacation and perhaps assumed this was little more than a cute, novel thing to do.

And, according to the manager of the gun range, the girl’s age was not a factor in her ability to handle the weapon.

As the little girl, shown on camera wearing pink shorts -- and it’s honestly chilling to be reminded of how young she really is -- grabs ahold of the large gun, Vacca can be heard giving her commands such as, “Turn this leg forward, there you go, just like that,” “All right, go ahead and give me one shot,” and “All right, full auto.”

His last instruction was also the last thing heard on video before a series of gun shots fired. The video then cut off.

The Uzi reportedly recoiled in the girl’s hands and sent “the weapon over her head,” according to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Officer. Vacca, who has worked as a gun instructor for 18 years, was taken to a hospital where he died later that evening.

Frighteningly, this isn’t the first time a deadly incident involving a child at a firing range has taken place. In 2008, an 8-year-old named Christopher Bizilj shot himself in the head while trying to shoot a pumpkin at a Massachusetts gun expo.

I don’t care how much of a gun enthusiast you are, there is no reason why children under the age of 18 should be allowed to handle one. If cigarettes and alcohol are kept out of the hands of children for a reason, it makes sense that guns would be, too. This is a sad story for myriad reasons, and our hearts go out to both the victim of this accident and the young girl who will have to live the rest of her life with this memory.

Do you think children should be allowed to fire guns in shooting ranges?


Image via Mohave County Sheriff's Office



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stace... stacey541

I think they are idiots for giving such a big gun to a child. If it's something an adult would have a hard time controlling the recoil, you sure as hell don't hand it to a 9 year old. My kids are 6 & 4 and have shot a .22, but haven't shot any larger guns due to that exact reason...

EarlG... EarlGrayHot

No. Only a moron would try to teach young children to shoot a gun like this. That is way too young to shoot ANY gun. He is at fault.

nonmember avatar Aimzz

I plan to show this to my sister-in-law and her husband who think their 9 year old son who is small for his age should have his own gun. SMH.

happy... happyfest

I can give you mis responses on the same. One mind says that the parents should n't have sent her theere. But if the same girl would have won a medal then again that could be a story. Here the i think the mishandling was done by the intructor himself

IKnow... IKnow0101

Of all the guns why a Uzi? I'm not going to talk about kids and guns because that debate will take forever but some common sense was needed here. Now you have a man dead and a child scarred for life.

the4m... the4mutts

I let my children shoot. At a range, and in the woods. The problem here, WAS her age and size. They gave her a completely age inappropriate weapon. I let my kids fire .22 rifles and small hand guns. I wouldn't hand my children my 12 g Charles Daley Model 500 side by side shot gun. Why? Because they aren't big enough to control it.

Im sorry to say, that this instructor and the parents were at fault here. If he was a professional, he should have known by her size that the recoil would be too much for her to handle. They shouldn't have been letting her fire such a powerful gun.

Oh, and BTW, you talk about alcohol and cigarettes being kept out of kids hands, but did you know that EVEN IN CALIFORNIA, children can own shotguns? Handguns and certain rifles you have to be 18-21. But other small rifles like .22s, and certain farm type shotguns can legally be put in a child's name for ownership?

They should have let her fire something she could handle. They broke safety protocol here, and someone paid with their life for the mistake.

nonmember avatar Michael

Until the age of 12 or 13 anything other than a .22 is pretty stupid for a kid to shoot. And an automatic weapon is insane for a 9 year old. Darwinism at work here-I do feel sorry for the kid but not for the instructor.

nonmember avatar Good Grief

The Darwin Award winners are coming fast and furious these days. Too bad her incompetent parents didn't get sprayed too.

tansy... tansyflower

i agree with 4mutts.  young children can handle age appropriate firearms with correct supervision.  that is NOT what happened in this situation.  i am 30 years old and i am not strong enough to handle that type of a gun properly, much less a 9 year old.  the instructor should have known better, as well as her parents.  my husband has been handling guns since he was 5 years old, first a bb gun, then a pellet gun, then a small .22 until he made his way up to a shotgun when he was old enough to start deer hunting.  always age appropriate, always supervised and never had an issue.  my boys will learn the same way as long as they can show the proper responsibility and maturity.  this isnt a gun issue, this is a stupid people issue.  now one person is dead and a little girl will never be the same.  how terrible :(

Charl... Charlyla2

An Uzi, really??? An adult can barely handle an Uzi! Give the kid a .22 or something with less kick. Jesus, people are stupid. My kids will learn to shoot with BB guns first and then move up from there.

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