October 22nd, 2012
03:27 AM ET

Relative shoots costumed girl after mistaking her for a skunk

A little girl was fighting for her life early Monday after she was shot outside a Halloween party by a relative who mistook her costume for a skunk.

Police in western Pennsylvania's New Sewickley Township said the 9-year-old girl was dressed in black with a black hat for the Saturday evening party.

As the two to three dozen guests milled about, the girl went to hide on the edge of a hill.

It was past 8 p.m. and the sun had long set. A relative spotted the dark figure in the distance, mistook it for a skunk and fired his shotgun, said Officer Greg Carney with the township police.

The girl was hit in the neck, back and arm - and flown to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, about 30 miles away. There, she remained in the intensive care unit, Carney said.

Police will determine later Monday whether they will charge the shooter, whom they did not name. Nor did they say how he was related to the girl.

They did add, however, that the man had not been drinking.

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Filed under: Halloween • Pennsylvania • U.S.
soundoff (1,550 Responses)
  1. Uhadit

    Typical White Racist America Christian Terrorism

    October 22, 2012 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Enjoying my vacation

      The inferior always insult the superior.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
    • mixit

      Look, I'm not white or christian and I'm an immigrant, but uhadit, that's pretty much the stupidest most bigoted comment I've seen in a while.

      I think you pretty much lumped yourself in with whatever crowd you were desperately trying to feel superior to.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Doodlebug

      This > "Typical White Racist America Christian Terrorism"

      What in this article leads you to believe they were white – they were racist – and they were christians? (I'm going to ignore the terrorist remark)

      October 22, 2012 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
    • eville11

      you mean hiding in the hills or shooting at a skunk?

      October 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • jesuguru

      Lesson from the article: don't shoot "skunks" from a distance. During a kids' costume party, no less.

      Lesson from the post: don't feed trolls.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. Hide Behind

    Odd I saw no mention of race, that of the shooter or the child or even nationality for that matter.
    Yes foreign nationals can have firearms and hunt in USIt is not only skunls and polecats that stinkk up this country, as some of the crap that is running through some minds and comes out their mouths brcause an as...... knows better.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous Individual

      As far as I know it isn't legal to hunt in the dark specifically for this reason. You cannot identify the target if you can't see it.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
    • AmyinCambridge

      It's Pennsyltucky. Need they mention race? I think we can safely assume white, redneck.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      So wait, now we're saying that Pennsylvania is the redneck south? Get out of here!

      October 23, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. dsm927

    It's not the foreigners that I fear, but the ones that insist on having guns at home, the ones that drink to much and then decide to get their loaded gun out for some reason, and then shoot and "accidentally" hurt or kill someone. Or the gun-owner that decides to intervene instead of calling 911, or the gun owner who has a temper, etc. These guns, along with their idiot owners, are a cause of real TERRORISM; they're the ones who should be feared; it's their actions that are killing Americans.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
    • triggerclue

      Alcohol was not involved, ding dong. Though, I do agree that idiotic gun owners are bad news!

      October 23, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. Nate

    WOW. Poor little girl. I pray she will be ok.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. Nate

    This is just another reason people do not need guns. (or need to "hunt"). Poor little girl.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Reality Check

      Just another reason why people need proper training to own a gun.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. Grace

    Ok. First rule of shooting a gun around people if you have even 1/2 a brain. Count to see where all the humans are. Hopefully at the very, very least they take his license to carry away.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Highly doubt he has a pistol permit. You don't need a license to own a shotgun or rifle. Only thing that makes it illegal is being convicted of a felony, hopefully he will be charged with one- but it's not likely.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. uckermanf

    Honestly, you people need to LEAVE THE GUNS ALONE! I mean seriously. Two or three dozen guests MILLING ABOUT and this mental reject decides he needs to pull out his gun and do some target shooting in the dark? How can someone be so incredibly dumb? I would have argued that as soon as these pet get the gun in their hands, their brain oozes out their rear end, but now I think it is a perpetual state of stupidity for these cretins.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
    • lefevre

      It's possible only between rednecks in this beautiful country, that idiot wasn't even drunk!

      October 22, 2012 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ron

    A fan of the NRA at his best. Go get those skunks boys.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. Chris

    wow. I see there's not much need to have a level head to post a comment. Horrible event. Please don't sully this tragedy with your racist bs. BOTH SIDES, please. And, for once, let's try not to turn this into a political issue. You people should be ashamed.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
  10. bwuh

    Holy s * * t! How f * * king big do skunks get in Pennsylvania?

    October 22, 2012 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
    • 66th Strategic Command & Operations Unit.

      I was just about to ask that haha.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
    • kathy

      That was my first thoguht. How stupid do you have to be? By this report he was sober and thought there was...what?....a 40-50 pound 3-4ft skunk on the hill. It was such a dangerous skunk he had to shoot it 3 times? You can't fix stupid, but you shouldn't let them own guhns or sharp objects, or operate heavy machinery without a responsible adult present.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. Colin Kapelovitz

    She didn't get shot with a flyswatter, uckermanf. It's time to take our guns away so this doesn't happen anymore. You not being able to have one is worth it if little girls stop getting shot.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
    • uckermanf

      Hey IDIOT you are not reading my post correctly. I'm telling the gun-crazed freaks to put their guns down for a change, rather than running to it as if it was some kind of security blanket. You obviously have trouble understanding what your read.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  12. Turtleguy

    There really needs to be a basic minimum intelligence requirement to own a gun.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. SB

    I'm glad I don't live in a place where it's OK to fire a weapon into the darkness at what you think might be an animal. And obviously it is considered "OK" to do so where this happened, otherwise the police wouldn't be debating whether charges should be filed.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. Anonymous Individual

    Guns have their place, a kid's Halloween party isn't it.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sue

    Skunks must be pretty big in PA. Can't regulate stupid.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
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