Girl Who Shot Gun Instructor Said Uzi Was Too Much for Her

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A criminologist shows a Uzi submachine gun, similar to the one associated with this story.

PHOENIX — A 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed a shooting range instructor with an Uzi in northern Arizona said immediately after the shooting that she felt the gun was too much for her and had hurt her shoulder, according to police reports released on Tuesday.

Her family members were focused on the girl because they thought she was injured by the gun’s recoil and didn’t immediately realize instructor Charles Vacca had been shot until one of his colleagues ran over.

The reports say the family took a shuttle from Las Vegas about 60 miles south to the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona. Prosecutors are not filing charges in the case.

Vacca was standing next to the girl on Aug. 25 when she squeezed the trigger. The recoil wrenched the Uzi upward and killed Vacca.

A Fox 10 Phoenix YouTube video shows Vacca positioning the girl, who is wearing pink shorts and pink earmuffs, during part of the lesson before he was shot. The video cuts off before the fatal shot, though the gun appears to be lurching out of the girl’s control.

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