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Family of girl who killed instructor 'devastated'; 911 calls released

uzi-cropped.jpg

Aug. 27, 2014: Painted signs are seen outside of the Last Stop outdoor shooting range in White Hills, Ariz. (AP)

People at a northern Arizona gun range where a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot an instructor with an Uzi desperately tried to keep him alive as they urged 911 dispatchers to send a medical helicopter.

Recordings of emergency calls from the Aug. 25 death in White Hills were released Tuesday.

The callers said Charles Vacca was unconscious and convulsing.

A dispatcher urged callers to apply pressure to Vacca's wound while a man could be heard saying, "Breathe, come on, Charlie."

Vacca was flown to a Las Vegas hospital where he died hours later.

He was standing next to the girl from New Jersey when she squeezed the trigger and the recoil wrenched the Uzi upward toward his head.

Prosecutors aren't filing charges in the case.

Meanwhile, a lawyer for the girl's parents said Tuesday that the family is devastated.

Kevin G. Walsh, a Newark, New Jersey, attorney, said in a statement Tuesday that the girl's relatives prayed that Vacca would survive his injuries and now pray for his family. They also asked for the public's prayers for them.

Walsh said the girl's family is dealing with the tragedy privately.

The family's complete statement:

"Words cannot express the family's sadness about the accidental shooting of Charles Vacca. They prayed day and night that he would survive his injury, and they continue to pray for his family during this terribly difficult time. The family also asks for the public's prayers for their own family.

"They are devastated by this accident that turned what was supposed to be a unique and brief excursion from their summer vacation into a life-changing tragedy. They are dealing with this privately as a family. They wish to thank the emergency first responders who tried heroically to save the life of Mr. Vacca, a military veteran who they were told served honorably overseas to defend America.

"Although certain people will seek to use this tragedy for their own partisan purposes and agenda, the family asks all compassionate Americans to pray for their children and the entire Vacca family. Please respect both families' privacy as they seek to deal with this tragic accident."

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