9-year-old girl accidentally kills instructor in Uzi mishap

9-year-old girl accidentally kills instructor in Uzi mishap

A 9-year-old girl learning to fire a Uzi submachine gun accidentally killed her instructor at a shooting range in Arizona when the weapon recoiled over her shoulder, US authorities said today.

The instructor, 39-year-old Charles Vacca, died at a hospital on Monday night after he was shot in the head.

The Mohave County Sheriff's Office said the girl was with her parents. The website of Bullets and Burgers, the shooting range where the accident happened, says children between the ages of 8 and 17 can shoot a weapon if accompanied by a parent or guardian.Police identified the weapon as an Uzi, an Israeli-made submachine gun, CNN reported.

It was not the first fatal accident involving a child and an Uzi. In 2008, an 8-year-old boy in Massachusetts accidentally shot himself with a micro Uzi during a gun show, the report said.

Sam Scarmardo, who operates Bullets and Burgers, told CNN affiliate KLAS they "really don't know what happened."

"Our guys are trained to basically hover over people when they're shooting," he said. "If they're shooting right-handed, we have our right-hand behind them ready to push the weapon out of the way. And if they're left-handed, the same thing." Vacca was married, well-liked and a veteran, KLAS said.

The range, which is about an hour's drive from Las Vegas, says on its Facebook page: "We separate ourselves from all other Las Vegas ranges with our unique 'Desert Storm' atmosphere and military style bunkers."

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