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Washington (AFP) – A nine-year-old girl learning to fire an Uzi submachine gun was unable to control the weapon, accidentally killing her instructor, news reports said Wednesday.

The tragedy occurred Monday at the Last Stop gun range in the western U.S. state of Arizona, where the girl had been taken by her parents for firearms lesson, U.S. news reports said.

Officials said the girl had successfully managed to control the weapon in the “single shot” mode.

But when shooting instructor Charles Vacca, 39, switched the Uzi into the fully automatic setting, the force of the gunfire caused the weapon to rebound upward, and an errant bullet fired by the child struck him in the head.

Vacca died in hospital a short time later, officials said.

Authorities later released a video, editing out the fatal shot, of the tragic shooting lesson, which had been filmed by the girl’s parents.

A manager at the firing range told NBC News that firearms training at the Last Stop can begin as young as eight years old.

Firearms instruction at other shooting ranges in the United States, which has the world’s highest per capita number of guns, can start as early as seven years old.

AFP Photo/Sven Nackstrand

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