Claim: A nine-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed a shooting instructor with an Uzi at a gun range in Arizona.
Examples: [Collected via email, September 2014]
There have been reports of a 9 year old girl fatally shooting an instructor at a gun range on
Charles Vacca, fatally shot in the head by a 9 year old girl while shooting a
This week the news has been reporting that a
Origins: On 25 August 2014, shooting instructor Charles Vacca died in an accident at the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona. Vacca, a shooting instructor, was working with a family at the gun range when he was shot in the head by a nine-year-old girl firing an Uzi.
According to police reports, Vacca initially helped the child — who has remained unnamed in the news — fire the submachine gun. However, when the girl fired the weapon alone the recoil tilted the gun upwards. Initially, her parents believed the recoil had injured the child, failing to immediately realize Vacca had been shot.
Frantic 911 calls placed by witnesses at the gun range in the aftermath the Uzi accident document a valiant effort to stabilize Vacca and save his life. Although Vacca was evacuated by helicopter to a trauma center, he died a few hours later.
Sam Scarmardo, operator of the Last Stop range in White Hills, confirmed on
After Vacca’s died of his injuries, the girl’s family released a statement expressing their sorrow. Via a lawyer, the child’s parents said:
“[The family is] devastated by this accident that turned what was supposed to be a unique and brief excursion from their summer vacation into a life changing tragedy. Words cannot express the family’s sadness about the accidental shooting of Charles Vacca. They prayed day and night that he would survive his injury, and they continue to pray for his family during this terribly difficult time.”
The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the nine-year-old’s mother inadvertently captured video of the fatal shooting of Charles Vacca with her iPhone. A portion of the footage, shown above, has been released to the public.
Last updated: 3 September 2014