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No charges for gun range after 9-year-old accidentally kills instructor

Criminal charges won't be filed against an Arizona gun range, where a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed her instructor.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Criminal charges won't be filed against an Arizona gun range, where a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed her instructor.

The incident has generated angry comments on social media, with people asking why a child was allowed to use an automatic weapon. Many are expressing sympathy for the girl, while questioning whether the adults at the gun range were to blame.

A video of the moments leading up to Monday's shooting shows the instructor, Charles Vacca, showing her how to use an Uzi submachine gun. He tells the girl, "All right, full auto." She braces the gun and opens fire at a black-silhouette target.

The recoil wrenched the weapon upward, and the instructor was shot in the head and killed. The shooting isn't seen on the video.

The operator of the shooting range, Sam Sarmardo, said the girl's parents had signed waivers saying they understood the rules of the range.

"Really don't know what happened," he said. "I mean, our guys are trained to basically hover over people when they're shooting. And if they're shooting right-handed, we have our right hand just behind them ready to push the weapon out of the way, and if they're left-handed, the same thing."

Vacca was married and a veteran.

The girl was vacationing with her parents who were standing nearby, recording a video, when the accident happened.

The range, located about an hour outside of Las Vegas, has now changed its policy -- shooters will have to stand 5 feet tall, or be at least 12 years old.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
news u.s. & world shooting gun violence guns children Arizona Las Vegas
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