According to police reports, Vacca initially helped the child — who has remained unnamed in the news — fire the submachine gun. However, when the girl fired the weapon alone the recoil tilted the gun upwards. Initially, her parents believed that the recoil had injured the child, failing to immediately realize Vacca had been shot.
Frantic 911 calls placed by witnesses at the gun range in the aftermath the Uzi accident document a valiant effort to stabilize Vacca and save his life. Although Vacca was evacuated by helicopter to a trauma center, he died a few hours later.
Sam Scarmardo, operator of the Last Stop range in White Hills, confirmed on 2 September 2014 that children over the age of eight were typically permitted to fire guns at the range if their parents or guardians signed waivers. Scarmardo denied that any safety problems resulted from the policy prior to the incident involving the nine-year-old girl and the Uzi, but added that the range is reviewing the policy in light of Vacca's death.
After Vacca's died of his injuries, the girl's family released a statement expressing their sorrow. Via a lawyer, the child's parents said:
The Mohave County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the nine-year-old's mother inadvertently captured video of the fatal shooting of Charles Vacca with her iPhone. A portion of the footage, shown above, has been released to the public.