Fatal Shooting By 9-Year-Old Stirs Gun Debate

Gun instructor Charles Vacca. Photo Credit: Facebook / MGN Online
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PHOENIX (AP) - The accidental shooting death of a firing-range instructor in Arizona, by a 9-year-old girl firing an Uzi submachine gun, has generated angry social-media comments, 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, telling 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, says, the girl's parents had signed waivers saying they understood the rules of the range. He says they were standing nearby, recording a video, when the accident happened.

He says, "I have regret we let this child shoot, and I have regret that Charlie was killed in the incident."