Arizona county clears girl shooter in gun range death
WHITE HILLS, Ariz. — County law enforcement officials in Arizona said on Thursday that no criminal charges are pending from a probe into a gun range incident in which a 9-year-old girl fatally shot her instructor with an Uzi, adding it was “being viewed as an industrial accident.”
State occupational health and safety officials were conducting their own probe of the Monday morning tragedy that was captured on video at a gun range that caters in part to tourists visiting nearby Las Vegas.
The shooting at the Arizona Last Stop in White Hills, near the Nevada border, has touched off debate over shooting ranges offering machine guns to casual visitors and the wisdom of giving children access to high-powered firearms.
“Based on the video, the Sheriff's Office has determined no charges are pending,” the Mohave County Sheriff's Office said in a statement, adding that the shooting was “being viewed as an industrial accident.”
A video clip released by the sheriff's office of the moments just before the fatal shooting and circulating on the Internet shows Charles Vacca giving a girl in pink shorts and a braided ponytail hands-on instruction as she aims the Uzi at a black and white target shaped like the silhouette of a man.
Vacca is heard encouraging the girl and asking her to squeeze off one shot. Then he tells her, “All right, full auto,” and the weapon unleashes multiple rounds as the video cuts off.
It was apparently moments later that Vacca was shot in the head when the girl lost control of the submachine gun.
Vacca, 39, had been standing next to the girl when the recoil forced her arm over her head, the sheriff's office said.
Authorities have not said how many times Vacca was hit, but NBC News reported he was killed by a single bullet in the head.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Stylish, inexpensive dress takes television newsrooms by storm
- Web-savvy terrorists have success luring U.S. recruits with social media
- Congress agrees to transportation bill
- House votes to thwart power plant regulations
- Retired general, Obama adviser says re-election bid skewed response to early intel on growth of ISIS
- Death of Juneau mayor remains unsolved
- Special ops force to head to Iraq to carry out raids on ISIS
- Supreme Court step closer on key immigration case
- Question of terror raised in Planned Parenthood attack in Colo.
- Case made for dismissal of charges against Texas attorney general
- Cleveland officer says he, partner repeatedly yelled ‘show me your hands’ to 12-year-old who was shot