Family of man killed while teaching 9-year-old how to shoot an Uzi files wrongful death lawsuit
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - It was a story that shocked the state: a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed a firearms instructor with an Uzi at a shooting range. August 25th will mark the second anniversary of that instructor's death.
The family of that man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that owns the gun range. They say their goal is to make sure this never happens again.
The little girl was visiting the Bullets and Burgers shooting range when she lost control of the Uzi, instantly killing the instructor, Charles Vacca. His family is filing the lawsuit, but also working with lawmakers to pass legislation that would prevent children from being able to use automatic weapons.
The video sparked outrage and shock two years ago. A 9-year-old girl learning how to shoot an Uzi 9mm -- when she lost control of the gun, shooting the instructor at least once in the head.
With the second anniversary of this tragedy, the Vacca family filed a nine page wrongful death lawsuit against Bullets and Burgers.
"The location where their dad was working and the business that were combined to operate the shooting range.. they believe were unsafe and dangerous and they feel like they need to be accountable for their dad's death," said Marc Lamber of Fennemore and Craig, which represents the family.
The family publicly told the 9-year-old in this case they had no ill-feelings towards her, squarely placing the responsibility on the company.
"They want these businesses to be held accountable. From their perspective, it's not right. It's not right that a little child, a 9-year-old, can be given a weapon that can shoot over a thousand rounds a minute," said Lamber.
The family has also started a campaign and petition called the Heart Act to prevent something like this from happening again.
In a video, Vacca's daughter explained the campaign: "Shooting ranges across the country still allow children to shoot machine guns.. that hasn't changed."
They are working with Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego and Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey to pass the legislation that if passed, would not allow kids to possess or fire powerful weapons.
We reached out to Bullets and Burgers for comment on the lawsuit, but have not heard back from them.
The We Have a Voice Petition and HEART Bill