Aug 29, 2014 11:17 AM by Associated Press

Uzi Instructor Charles Vacca's Family: Death Was 'Tragic Accident'

The grieving family of Charles Vacca, the Arizona shooting range instructor accidentally killed by a 9-year-old who was learning how to shoot an Uzi, said they feel "sorry" for the girl.

"We know it was a tragic accident and that it's something that we're all going to have to live with," Vacca's 19-year-old daughter Ashley said in an exclusive NBC News interview to be aired Friday on the TODAY show.

The 39-year-old veteran was teaching the girl how to use the automatic weapon Monday morning at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range in White Hills, Arizona, when she pulled the trigger and the kickback caused the gun to lurch over her head, investigators said.

"We really do want the prayers to be going out to the family of the little girl," Ashley said, adding that she plans to write a letter to the girl's family. "Our thoughts and our prayers are with them. We don't want their life to revolve around this."

Vacca's ex-wife, Anamarie, said: "My heart goes out to the little girl and I feel sorry for her and for her family."

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