9-year-old girl accidentally shoots instructor at gun range

Dolan Springs, AZ (KVVU) — A gun instructor, who deputies said was shot Monday when a 9-year-old girl handled an automatic Uzi, died of his injuries.

Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, AZ, died Monday night while being treated at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

The sheriff’s office said the incident happened about 10 a.m. Monday at an outdoor shooting range at the Last Stop at 20606 North Highway 93 in White Hills near the Nevada-Arizona border.

According to the sheriff’s office, the instructor was standing next to the girl who was handling a 9 mm automatic Uzi. Citing an investigation, the sheriff’s office said the child shot once and then lost control of the Uzi, firing four more shots.

The recoil during the child’s operation of the firearm sent it over her head and resulted in Vacca being struck in the head, deputies said.

The man was airlifted to UMC where he later died.

The sheriff’s office said the child’s parents were present at the time of the incident. A spokeswoman with Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said the girl’s father handled the gun first before the 9-year-old operated it.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office was assigned to perform an autopsy.