White Hills, AZ (KTNV) -- A gun range operator is speaking out about his employee who was accidentally shot to death by a little girl with an automatic Uzi.
"It's like losing a brother. These aren't [just] employees or associates of ours," said Last Stop Arizona's Sam Scarmardo. "We're all family."
Mohave County Sheriff's deputies were called to the shooting on Monday morning. It happened at the Last Stop gun range in White Hills, Arizona. Investigators determined the 9 year old accidentally shot instructor Charles Vacca, a 39 year old from Lake Havasu City. He died later that day.
They believe the recoil sent the gun over the child's head after she fired.
Employees at the gun range said the instructor was known as Charlie, and he leaves behind a wife. They also said he had more than a dozen years of military experience and was still enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Employees at nearby Rosie's Den said Charlie used to visit the diner.
"All of the customers have been talking about it and it's really been breaking a lot of people's hearts because a lot of us knew him down there and it's been a rough day," said employee Andrea Mendoza.
Scarmardo told Action News the 9 year old was allowed to shoot at the range, adding the minimum age requirement was 8 years old.
Last Stop said the little girl's parents were at the range with her when the shooting happened. They said she lives in New York, but was on vacation.