The family of the shooting instructor killed teaching a 9-year-old girl to shoot an Uzi released a video statement with comments directed to the young girl.
“Charlie’s family understands that this incident has spawned a broader national discussion about gun safety and automatic weapons in the hands of children,” said James Goodnow, the Vacca family attorney, to conclude the family’s statement. “Although we feel this discourse is important — and we intend to participate — Charlie’s loved ones don’t want it to overshadow the impact this tragedy has had on everyone involved.”
In the letter, the four Vacca children forgive the young girl and empathize with her position.
We’re Charlie Vacca’s kids and we wrote this letter to the little girl. We don’t know your name, but we are connected by this tragedy. In the news we are just called “the family,” “the 9-year-old girl,” “the Instructor,” but we do have names. Our names are Ashley, Elizabeth, Tyler, and Christopher. We are Charlie Vacca’s kids. We wanted you to know something about him.
Our dad wasn’t just an instructor. He was funny, strong, a protector, a hero and our friend. He was a good man.
You’re only 9 years old. 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.
Like you, we are living through this tragic event that we cannot shut off. It’s with us all the time.
Our dad would want you to know that you should move forward with your life. You should not let this define you. You should love yourself and love your family.
Some day we hope we can meet you, hug you, and tell you that it’s okay.
The Aug. 25 incident, which was captured on a camera phone, happened at an Arizona shooting range about 65 miles southeast of Las Vegas. The girl was unable to manage the recoil of the submachine gun and when the muzzle flipped, Vacca was accidentally shot in the head. He died at nearby hospital later that night.