Newspaper article International New York Times

Arizona Investigates after Girl, 9, Accidentally Kills Instructor with Uzi ; She Was with Parents at Shooting Range; Video of the Episode Goes Viral

Newspaper article International New York Times

Arizona Investigates after Girl, 9, Accidentally Kills Instructor with Uzi ; She Was with Parents at Shooting Range; Video of the Episode Goes Viral

Article excerpt

The authorities in Arizona were investigating what went wrong after a 9-year-old girl firing an Uzi submachine gun at a shooting range accidentally killed the instructor.

The authorities in Arizona were investigating on Wednesday what went wrong after a 9-year-old girl firing an Uzi submachine gun at an outdoor shooting range accidentally killed the instructor who had been showing her how to use the weapon.

The instructor, Charles Vacca, 39, died on Monday after the girl pulled the trigger of the Uzi and was apparently unable to control the recoil of the automatic weapon, which sent it over her head, the Mohave County Sheriff's Department said. The girl, whose name has not been released, was at the range with her parents, the authorities said.

The shooting range, Bullets and Burgers, is in the Mojave Desert just over the Arizona border from Nevada, off a highway that is popular with tourists and connects Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon.

The range's website advertises four-hour tour packages in which tourists can be picked up at their hotels, driven to the property and given "the opportunity to fire a wide range of fully automatic machine guns and specialty weapons." Burgers are served for lunch, and guests can opt to have videos taken of their shooting experience.

Some ranges prohibit young children from handling heavy weaponry, but it was not clear what rules were in place at the shooting range when the accident happened.

News of the shooting and a video of the girl firing the Uzi next to the instructor have gone viral on the Internet and have prompted an avalanche of comments, many of them questioning why parents would allow such a young child to handle such a powerful weapon.

Some commentators, particularly from abroad, have pointed to the episode as an unfortunate reflection of America's gun culture.

Bullets and Burgers drew numerous comments on TripAdvisor, the travel website. Of the 946 ratings for the establishment, 932 were "excellent" or "very good." The company described its services on the travel site.

"You choose the guns which you want to shoot from our extensive collection and we provide the eye/ear protection, ammunition, and expert guidance. …

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