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. Julie

    Two Words – Gun Control. Who decides it is a good idea to shoot a skunk while a group of kids have a Halloween party. Was the skunk charging the party..I think not. Enough of this BS about people kill people, if the average person did not have access to guns these kind of tragedies could be avoided.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      So Julie, who gets to decide who is worthy to own a gun? I'm a well educated, well employed, sane, non criminal that has had plenty of training on gun safety. I shoot solely at the range. Can I own a gun in your world?

      How about we keep alcohol, drivers license, voting, etc. out of the hands of idiots as well. You can't have everything your way.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • tacc2

      I'll go along with that under one condition, you apply that logic to EVERYTHING else. Let's get all the death machines (cars) off the road. Let's ban alcohol and tobacco (yeah, like that'll work). Let's require everyone to get at least an hour of exercise per day. See where this goes?

      October 23, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sherry

    So happy to be Canadian & live in a country where not every moron is armed. Prayers for the little girl.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. Nocivilityhere

    Who let the third graders on the blogs. Is there anyway to have a civil debate here anymore. You sit behind your keyboards and call other folks names because they don't agree with you. Who said your opinion was or is the correct one. CNN do these blogs really add value or do you guys just get a real kick out of people name calling? You are doing nothing but assisting in dividing this Great Country. You abviously do not moderate thase blogs. So what is next. Do we meet each other on the street and start throwing punches. When we get tired of that do we break out the guns and start killing each other because we don't agree. How about you state your opinion in a civil thoughtful manner. Or disagree in a civil respectful manner. Once you start the name calling your posts loose all credability. Our enemies must love to read these blogs and see how divided we are. Why do they need to do anything when they can just sit back and watch us destroy ourselves. United We Stand, Divided We Fall. I'm just saying.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • tacc2

      I'm glad these blogs are not moderated. It's call FREEDOM OF SPEECH. I do agree that we should try to have a civil discussion though. But, it always comes down to one thing, control. Someone always wants to control what someone else does. Sometimes, that makes sense to (most) everyone. e.g. You can't dump your industrial waste into the river because other people have to drink that water. Other times (e.g. guns) the line isn't quite so clear. Now, when it really comes down to it, if one side completely disagrees with the side which wishes to control them what can you do? There are only two solutions to this dilemma. Solution #1 (the one that I would prefer) is to split the two sides up geographically and let them each do what they want in their own realm. Solution #2 is we meet in the streets with fists and guns and the winner gets to force the other side to do as they wish.

      October 23, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joe Relistic

    What in the world was someone doing with a shotgun, at sunset, during a Halloween party for children?? How can Americans be so unbelievably stupid and irresponsible?

    October 22, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheese Wonton

      It's their "right" dontcha know.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Stef Fletcher

      Oh Joe.... This is undeniably one of the most ridiculous situations with the most tragic of consequences. I wish there was an answer to your question and sadly.... there is not. I will thank the author of the article for adding that "he had not been drinking," which is a good thing as he might have mistaken the group of children for a herd of freaking coyote and shot them all!

      October 22, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Sari

      Seriously. *shakes head* There's just no excuse for this.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Albee

      The NRA gun zealots insist it's their "freedom and liberty" to carry and use guns any time they want.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom the Other One

      @ Albee
      The anti-gun crowed insists the NRA supports thing is doesn’t.


      October 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tim

    USA! USA! USA! Greatest country in the world, let's legalize AK47's and grenade launchers too, 2nd amendment! (sarcasm intended)

    October 22, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • YoungMarine

      Ak-47s are legal

      October 22, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Semi-auto Ak-47s are legal to own. Fully auto are not unless you have a valid ATF license which requires local law enforcement signoff

      As a semi auto rifle an AK or AR for that matter is not much different than the standard semi auto rifles that have been in use by hunters for 75 years or so.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. Richard Brigle

    The parnets haven't taken this moron and beat the liveing heck out of him.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Buscha

      Right now the parents are with their daughter hoping for a full recovery. I don't think they are thinking of anything else at this time.!! Their daughter is still in critical condition and needs prayers!

      October 23, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. joesmith

    some people should not be permitted to breed

    October 22, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. Cheese Wonton

    So lets see here, you see a skunk in the back yard and you shoot it? Really? Are people really that backwoods and stupid?

    October 22, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Montel


      October 22, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • tacc2

      I'm sorry, but not everyone lives in a condo in a trendy city neighborhood next to the Starbucks. In rural areas it's VERY common to shoot varmits on sight. They carry disease and eat your animals and crops. Don't get me wrong, I'm not making excuses for this dude though. You NEVER shoot anything unless you know for a fact exactly what you are shooting. This guy used extremely poor judgement in deciding to shoot a "skunk", in the dark, far away, at a party full of kids. It's just plain stupid.

      October 23, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  9. DV Wasson

    This sounds like an episode of CSI- The Furries and the Plushies.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ghostmule

    So, lets shoot first into the darkness at a kid's Halloween party without fully identifying your target.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. Cheese Wonton

    Bigger brain maybe. I'm sure the skunk had more sense than the shooter.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. Hal

    Of course you charts this guy. Otherwise it will just happen again and again. You Just do not shoot a shotgun inside a residential township.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. IveryKeys

    Skunks can be rebid, and if so, become aggressive. Probably thought they were protecting the children at the party from a possibly rabid skunk. Skunks are one of the worst of the animals known to carry the disease.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Riggghhhhtttt. Except what sort of moron shoots at something he can barely see and cannot positively identify?

      October 22, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Both of you are 100% right.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. Don

    Definitive proof that evolution is a myth. If natural selection was in fact a law of nature, this idiot would have blown his own head off a long time ago.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. CHEV

    No gun users don't itch to kill. that's a false statement there. I own guns for defense I Don't go crazy to kill something like some junky.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
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