Shooting Instructor's Kids Send Message to Girl Who Killed Him
byKaitlin StanfordSep 18, 2014
Last month brought the disturbing news of an accidental shooting at a firing range in Arizona, which led to the tragic death of firearms instructor Charles Vacca.
It all happened in an instant, at Last Shot firing range, while Vacca was showing a 9-year-old girl how to use a fully automatic uzi. According to reports, Vacca was standing beside the girl as she pulled the trigger, but its powerful recoil caused the gun to fly over her head. A round hit the instructor in his head, leading him to die while en route to a Las Vegas hospital.
Needless to say, the media conversation surrounding the case—as well as the argument over why and how a 9-year-old was allowed to fire such a powerful weapon—has been overwhelming. But in an effort to quiet the speculation and reach out to the girl at its center, Vacca's four children, Christopher, Tylor, Elizabeth and Ashley, have released a moving open letter to her. According to their lawyer, their hope is that the media circus surrounding the case will not "overshadow the impact this tragedy has had on everyone involved."
The letter, though brief, is beyond touching.
"You’re only 9 years old," the letter reads. "We think about you. We are worried about you. We pray for you. And we wish you peace. Our dad would want the same thing. […] Our dad would want you to know that you should move forward with your life. You should not let this define you."
They also took time to share a few words about their father.
“Our dad wasn't just an instructor,” they wrote. “He was funny, strong, a protector, a hero and our friend. He was a good man.”
“Like you, we are living through this tragic event that we cannot shut off,” it continued. “It's with us all the time.”
The family lawyer, James Goodnow, confirmed that it was the children’s idea to write the letter. “It’s rare to see something so human in a legal situation like this," he added.
We couldn't agree more. Watch Vacca's three children read the letter aloud themselves: