Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Update: Shooting Instructor Dies

From the LVRJ: An instructor who was shot by a 9-year-old girl who fired an Uzi at a northwestern Arizona shooting range died Monday night at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
The girl fired the weapon at the outdoor range that caters to heavy tourism traffic along U.S. Highway 93 between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
Highway signage and Internet advertising beckons visitors to stop in, fire a machine gun and enjoy a meal at the Bullets and Burgers enterprise at the Last Stop, about 25 miles south of Las Vegas.
The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said the accidental shooting occurred about 10 a.m. Spokeswoman Trish Carter said the girl, who was vacationing from New Jersey with her parents, was standing next to the instructor at the time.
Mohave County Sheriff Jim McCabe described a video taken of the accident as “ghastly.” His office released a short video of the girl taking her first few shots.
He said the girl safely and successfully fired the 9 mm weapon several times when it was set in the “single-shot” mode.
He said the weapon was put into the “fully-automatic” mode before the girl fired again with the instructor standing off to her left. The weapon recoiled and drifted left as the girl squeezed off an undetermined number of rounds as she maintained possession but lost control of the Uzi as it raised up above her head.
“The guy just dropped,” McCabe said of shooting instructor Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, who suffered at least one gunshot to the head.
I am going to let the experts on guns debate whether or not the girl should have been shooting.
Instead, I am going to focus on the fact the that there were 2 Arizona Highway Patrol officers near the shooting, who were escorting an oversized truck and the cops apparently failed to stop and render aid or help secure the scene until the Mohave Sheriff arrived on the scene.
To recap, my wife and I were on our way to Las Vegas when we saw a Mohave sheriff's deputy go by us around Chloride, AZ, which is about 25 miles from the scene and the 2nd deputy passed us just pass Dolan Springs, about 10 miles from the shooting scene.
We kept on going and within a few minutes of passing the shooting scene, we passed the 2 highway patrol officers, 2 pilot vehicles and a large truck carry a bridge span.
As we passed the scene, we saw the victim, ambulance, 2 sheriff's deputies and the ambulance, waiting for the rescue helicopter. ( I also wonder why the helicopter took so long to get to the scene)
So, my question is why didn't the Highway Patrol officers stop the truck, go to the scene and provide needed first aid, secure the scene and assist in anyway possible?
It is questionable as to why the patrol was even needed to escort the truck.  The lead pilot car was at least a mile ahead of the truck, making it ineffective, the truck was on a 2 lane highway with plenty of passing room on the left, so much so that big rigs were able to pass it, and they had a pilot car with the needed lights  behind the truck.
While Mohave County will investigate the shooting, it also seems that the highway patrol officer's actions should also be investigated. 
Could the outcome be changed?
I don't know, but what happens. if the same situation happens again, will the AZ Highway Patrol respond the same way or would they stop and render aid?
RIP to the victim and prayers for the girl who will have to live with this for the rest of her life.

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