PHOENIX (CBSNewYork/AP) — An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old New Jersey girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a vacation.
The statement came as investigators released reports and 911 recordings from the Aug. 25 shooting of Charles Vacca, 39, at the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas.
Vacca was standing next to the girl when she squeezed the trigger. The gun’s recoil wrenched the Uzi upward, killing Vacca.
As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, the calls came in fast and frantic.
In those first moments the child ran back to her parents and complained about a hurt shoulder. Only Vacca’s co-workers realized that he had been hit and called for help.
On the open line the caller can be heard ordering a range employee to usher the family away as the horror becomes apparent.
“This is a gun range. We need an ambulance immediately. Yeah, we’re getting medical out there. Escort them mto the restaurant. Take them to the restaurant!” the caller can be heard saying.
The police report names the child’s parents as Alex Gen and Alison MacLachlan, but doesn’t reveal the couple’s hometown.
The girl said immediately after the shooting the gun was too powerful for her and that she had hurt her shoulder, according to the police report. The local investigation has cleared both the parents and the child of any criminal liability, suggesting that the instructor was largely to blame for the mishap.
Her family members were so focused on the girl, fearing she was injured by the gun’s recoil, that they didn’t immediately realize the instructor had been shot until one of his colleague’s tended to him, CBS News reported.
New Jersey-based lawyer Kevin Walsh said the family “prayed day and night that (Vacca) would survive his injury, and they continue to pray for his family during this terribly difficult time.”
“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,” Walsh said.
No one answered the door at the family’s Weehawken home on Tuesday night, a police officer was standing guard.
Prosecutors are not filing charges in the case.
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