Officials: 9-Year-Old Girl Who Killed Instructor Said Uzi Was Too Powerful

The 9-year-old girl who accidentally shot and killed her instructor at an Arizona gun range said the gun was too powerful for her after firing it, according to reports released by police on Tuesday and reviewed by the Associated Press.

The AP reported that the girl complained of shoulder pain after the incident and her family was so focused on her being injured from the gun’s recoil that they didn’t notice her instructor had been shot. A coworker rushed over to the shooting instructor, Charles Vacca, before the girl’s family realized what had occurred.

The Aug. 25 incident occurred after the 9-year-old fired off single rounds and then Vacca switched the gun to automatic. The gun recoiled and fired upward, striking Vacca in the head and causing the girl to drop the weapon as Vacca himself fell to the ground.

County prosecutors said the instructor was likely the most criminally negligent person because he allowed the girl to hold the gun without enough training, according to the AP. Prosecutors also said the parents and the girl weren’t criminally responsible.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ahiza Garcia is a newswriter based in New York City. Before joining TPM, Ahiza interned and freelanced for Nightline, Fox Sports, and ESPN the Magazine. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and an M.S. in digital journalism from Syracuse University. She can be reached at ahiza@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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