*According to the father of the 9-year-old girl who accidentally shot and killed the Arizona shooting range instructor that attempted to teach her how to shoot an Uzi, the family thought the daughter was hurt. They didn’t even realize the instructor had been fatally shot.
According to a statement from a Deputy B. Cassidy, the father — who had fired the sub-machine gun first — told officers “it appeared that (the girl) was injured as she was holding her shoulder. (The father) said the family huddled around her and was unaware that Vacca had been shot.”
The police report also says that, immediately after the shooting the girl, whose name has been redacted from the incident report, said the weapon was “too much for her.”
According to the Mojave Dessert police report, it was only after the father saw another worker at the range rush over to assist the injured instructor, did he realize the scope of the tragedy.
“(The father) said he immediately brought his family to the restaurant so his children would not see what happened.”
Cassidy then spoke to the girl’s mother, and she was the one to first show police a cellphone video of the incident.
“(The mother) was visibly upset and shaken,” the report reads. She said “the gun went off and saw (her daughter) drop the gun. (The girl) turned to her and told her the gun was too much for her and it hurt her shoulder. (The mother) said no one knew Vacca was shot until the other instructor ran over.”
Citing that the children were never interviewed due to being traumatized, the report says the case was cleared as an “accidental shooting.”
The family issued a statement on the Tuesday after the incident saying they were “devastated by this accident that turned what was supposed to be a unique and brief excursion from their summer vacation into a life changing tragedy.”
They say they “prayed day and night that (Vacca) would survive his injury, and they continue to pray for his family during his terribly difficult time. The family also asks for the public’s prayers for their own family.”
They add that they are dealing with it privately and noted that “although certain people will seek to use this tragedy for their own partisan purposes and agendas, the family asks all compassionate Americans to pray for their children and the entire Vacca family.”
The Mojave PD released audio of the 911 call (listen below) and at one time, a caller desperately pleads for a medevac chopper. “Hi, I just called from the Last Stop, where the f— is the helicopter?” the man screams. In the background, another person can be heard working on Vacca, saying, “Keep breathing, keep breathing, keep breathing.”
Vacca was eventually airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, where he was pronounced dead.
Hear the dramatic 911 call attempts to save instructor below.