Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

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Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by dogbane » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:34 am

DOLAN SPRINGS, Ariz. - A 9-year-old girl accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use an automatic Uzi, authorities said.
Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, died Monday shortly after being airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Mohave County sheriff's officials said Tuesday.
Vacca was standing next to the girl at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range in White Hills when she pulled the trigger and the recoil sent the gun over her head, investigators said.
Video released Tuesday by sheriff's officials shows the 9-year-old, wearing a gray T-shirt and pink shorts with her hair pulled back in a long braid, holding the firearm in both hands. Vacca, standing to her left, tells her to turn her left leg forward.
"All right, go ahead and give me one shot," he tells the girl, whose back is to the camera during the entire 27-second video. He then cheers when she fires one round at the target.
"All right full auto," Vacca says. The video, which does not show the actual incident, ends with a series of shots being heard.
Authorities said the girl was at the shooting range with her parents. Her name was not released.
A woman who answered the phone at the shooting range said it had no comment. She did not provide her name.
It is not known if the range had an age limit on shooting or if the girl was going through a safety class.
Ronald Scott, a Phoenix-based firearms safety expert, said most shooting ranges have an age limit and strict safety rules when teaching children to shoot. He said instructors usually have their hands on guns when children are firing high-powered weapons.
"You can't give a 9-year-old an Uzi and expect her to control it," Scott said.

http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/char ... -1.9160517
Silver lining: she didn't end up like 8-Year-old Christopher Bizilj.

(I put this here because it seems training/safety-related. Mods may move as they see fit.)
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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by Gingerbread Man » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:43 am

I feel horrible for that little girl. I'm going to go somewhere a feel really bad for her. :(
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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by raptor » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:05 am

I saw this incident.

I seriously question the wisdom of allowing inexperienced shooters fire a class 3 weapon like an amusement ride. Renting them with instruction and/or supervision is fine but the amusement ride experience is what I question. Even roller coasters have a height limit.

There is no way I would let an inexperienced shooter of any age start off with a class 3 weapon (like a range attended in Las Vegas did). Obviously not every place acts this way and YMMV.

It is hard to tell from the article if the casualty was engaging in dangerous behavior or in the process of supervising was in the wrong place at the wrong time. However the result is the same.
Last edited by raptor on Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by KGBrick » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:09 am

I believe the BBC article (or video?) said something about the range having a 5-year-old minimum for .22 LR and 8 years for starting on other cartridges.

Yeah, I feel sorry for the little girl too. An 8-year-old shouldn't have to witness that kind of thing, much less be involved. I'd be surprised if she doesn't develop a phobia.

I'm curious about others' opinions on allowing an 8-year-old to fire an Uzi on FA. I haven't personally pulled the trigger on a select fire weapon of any kind nor have I tried to teach an 8-year-old to shoot so I can't form an opinion of my own. My dim memories of shooting at that age make me really doubt that it would have been a good idea for me.

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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by raptor » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:16 am

Here is link to a a video that is claimed to be taken before the incident.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfMzK7QwfrU


I am not vouching for the video but rather got the link off The Blaze.


It appears as though he started off with one round on semi auto and then switched either the safety or fire selector. If this is the video my guess is the fire selector switch.
KGBrick wrote: I'm curious about others' opinions on allowing an 8-year-old to fire an Uzi on FA. I haven't personally pulled the trigger on a select fire weapon of any kind nor have I tried to teach an 8-year-old to shoot so I can't form an opinion of my own.
I take new people shooting often. I have taken children shooting also. It really depends up on the child. Age is less important than motor skill level, attention span, impulse control and the willingness to obey the rules.

I have not met a single 9 year old (YMMV) that I would trust with a class 3 firearm and 30 rounds of ammo in the magazine. The first time I fired a class -3, I only loaded 5 rounds in the magazine until I was comfortable with the firearm. Again YMMV.
Last edited by raptor on Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by woodsghost » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:56 am

I have seen at least one picture of what I presume to be an FA weapon chained to the ground. Assuming the shooter is not so short as to make the chain meaningless, that would at least limit how far the muzzle can sweep on FA and add some weight for controlability.
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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by .milFox » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:02 am

Class 3 isn't the a problem. With appropriate choices of class 3. Pretty sure a little girl can handle a longer gun like an American 180, for instance. .22lr, lots of points of contact for control... Or a P90.

The problem is a machine pistol, likely stock-less... yeah. I can see that one not being so good. Good thing she wasn't hurt, and :/ on her mental health. I hope she'll be okay.

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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by dogbane » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:11 am

I've never fired an Uzi, but I seem to remember from the Christopher Bizilj thread that folks said that the Uzi's short barrel and light weight (I guess I misremembered that part) makes it difficult to control, especially in the hands of a novice. I would have thought that the Bizilj incident was so widely known among firearms enthusiasts that such an incident would not happen again, especially on a commercial shooting range.
Last edited by dogbane on Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by wee drop o' bush » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:33 am

Gingerbread Man wrote:I feel horrible for that little girl. I'm going to go somewhere a feel really bad for her. :(
This^
It's tragic all round but what a terrible thing for that child to have to cope with :(
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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by Boondock » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:46 am

Many moons since I was around an Uzi. Heavy, clunky with a ton of kick. Not in any way intended for a 9-year-old. Everyone involved in that clown show should've known better. :roll:

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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by Gingerbread Man » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:51 am

I have a 9 yo daughter. I only recently let her shoot a 22 pistol with a 6" barrel with a 6" suppressor on the end. I was standing right next to her and hand my hand over hers. No damn way, the only other gun she's shot is a 10/22. She's very petite and there is no way she's shooting a machine gun, it's just too much for her.
Her brother is much bigger and he only now was allowed to shoot an AR-15 with me standing next to him. I let him shoot a 1911 with me stand there but after 2 shots it was too much recoil and I took it away. It was his grand pa's and that the only reason I let him try. Welp, that's not going to happen for a few more years now.

I'm not giving them the keys to the car either. :|
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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by duodecima » Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:04 pm

raptor wrote: I have taken children shooting also. It really depends up on the child. Age is less important than motor skill level, attention span, impulse control and the willingness to obey the rules.
QFT!!!

I can't remember if my eldest was 9 or 10 when we started her on an air rifle. She's great, could have started earlier, it's just a challenge to find a gun small enough because she's a tiny petite thing.

Her younger sister is 6 and is Not Ready, mostly with regards attention span and following directions without a 90 second lag. Likely won't be ready 'til older than her sister was.

Choice of instructor matters as well - I could have taught my eldest, but my father is far more experienced in teaching both adults and children to shoot, so we went to Grandpa's because I trust him not to let either one of us get into trouble. If I'd given my 10 year old a gun she couldn't handle, or allowed it to happen, that's on me, not her.

I feel awful for the child, who is not responsible, and also awful for the adults who now get to live with the fact that they made a mistake and not only did a person die but they now have to guide this girl thru a trauma she shouldn't have had.
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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by Apathy » Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:05 pm

I feel bad for the range instructor.
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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by raptor » Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:13 pm

duodecima wrote:
raptor wrote: I have taken children shooting also. It really depends up on the child. Age is less important than motor skill level, attention span, impulse control and the willingness to obey the rules.
QFT!!!
I would add:

There are adults that I know that do not meet my comfort level to shoot with them due to problems with the above issues...especially impulse control and a willingness to obey the rules. :D

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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by dogbane » Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:18 pm

raptor wrote:There are adults that I know that do not meet my comfort level to shoot with them due to problems with the above issues...especially impulse control and a willingness to obey the rules. :D
QFT

I tend to shy away from such folks in general, because those traits have consequences beyond the gun range.
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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by .milFox » Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:29 pm

Apathy wrote:I feel bad for the range instructor.
Eh, he's the one who had the most control over the situation.

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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by Mikeyboy » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:48 pm

I have personally seen an adult female lose control of a much bigger MP5 w/ butt stock while in full auto. Bullets hit the ceiling of the indoor range, and other than some very minor injuries from flying fragment everyone walked away unharmed.

I feel sorry for the kid and the range officer. The guy is dead and that kid will be traumatized for life. That said why on earth would you give a novice shooter who is that young a gun like that, and let her shoot what I'm assuming is a full mag full auto with zero warning that the gun will kick up and to hold on tight. If he just loaded 3 rounds, just so she knew what a burst was, he might have lived

Like other dads have already posted, I'm all for letting your kids shoot, but teach them how and start off slow. I bitched out a father on another gun forum a while back for letting his 3 year old rapid fire a .22 pistol completely unsupported. I also hate when people find its funny to hand a novice kid or small woman something that is tough for a regular shooter to handle, like a 12 gauge shotgun, a .44mag or a full auto uzi and not give them any forewarning. The range officer is at fault for not warning that kid on what was about to happen.

You put a kid on a bike with training wheels and you slowly teach them how to ride. You don't stick a kid who never rode a bike on a motorcycle, have them hold down the throttle, while you hold the brake, then you let go of the brake and step back. That is not a fun learning experience.

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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by Browning 35 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:12 pm

It freezes right before, but you see the gun angle up and to the left in recoil (which is where his head is).

http://youtu.be/74R65zL3-a0

Long guns are generally safer for beginning shooters simply because it's harder to screw up with them. Dramatic movement required to point it in a 90 degree direction on a square range, less so with pistols. Someone instructing a beginning shooter on a rifle can get inside that swing arc to gain control of that weapon. With a machine pistol all that is working against you for multiple reasons (full auto, recoil, goes out of control, she grabs harder, triggering more shots, poor upper body strength cause she's literally a 9 year old girl, short barrel permitting tight turns, tragedy).

There's a reason most beginning shooters start with .22 rifles and it ain't just the (previously) low cost of ammo.
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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by Sworbeyegib » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:57 pm

This is a horrible tragedy, and on that should have not happened.

I can't believe the range let her shoot that type of firearm, they should have known better. Wasn't there just an incident in the last few years of a young boy shooting himself at a rental range with the EXACT SAME GUN.
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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by Nick Adams » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:58 pm

I have a registered legal Mini Uzi, smaller, lighter and faster rate of fire then a regular Uzi. There really isn't any big recoil to shooting it.
What happens with first time shooters is they get taken by surprise and keep holding the trigger and of course the SMG keeps shooting at a rapid rate and then they wave the gun around and loose control. I have let first time shooters shoot mine but I would never load more then 4 or 5 bullets in it.This way it is over before they will panic and dump the entire 25 or 32 rd. clip all over the place
I have had first time shooters keep pulling the trigger on a semi auto pistol too and keep shooting,I only load them one at a time till they are used to it and then go to two bullets etc.
I don't know about letting a 9 year old girl shoot an Uzi but if they had only put a few bullets in it I bet the guy wouldn't have been shot.

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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by Stercutus » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:35 pm

Giving an FA 9mm Uzi to nine year old is Darwinism at work. Making this poor girl live with the poor judgment of her keepers for the rest of her life is pure abuse.
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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by ManInBlack316 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:42 pm

One of my first thoughts was "Why the heck was it a full magazine" second thought was "why the heck is a FA in the hands of the inexperienced?!". I recently started teaching my little brother to shoot, both pistol and rifle (he's 12), started off with one round in the magazine and moved up as he progressed. I would not hand a full magazine or a FA to someone inexperienced. and I definately wouldn't hand them both at the same time; this was the fault of the people involved (excluding the child), not the weapon system itself.

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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:48 pm

I feel heartbroken for the little girl. The instructor created a dangerous situation and suffered the consequences.

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Re: Girl kills range instructor with Uzi

Post by procyon » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:53 pm

Evan the Diplomat wrote:I feel heartbroken for the little girl.
This.
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