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. tutuvabene

    I guess the lesson is don't walk around New Sewickley at night. Seems to be similar to the George Martin case in some ways.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dude from Canada

    The nation of peace strikes again. Imagine this world without the peace and common sense this nation brings.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  3. J R Brown

    Guns don't shoot themselves so I don't understand why people are upset about guns....it's the MORONS who shoot guns that people should be upset about.

    It's the MORONS that ruin everything for everyone.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Edwin


      October 22, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • robotnic

      Yeah, same thing goes for nuclear weapons. They are harmless unless some moron uses them.Wait a second, I think I'm on to something here. The more people who have them, the more likely it is that a moron will have access to one.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      The law can't protect against Crazy. Nor can it protect against Stupid. What it can do is work to prevent these two factions from accessing guns. This is why people are upset about guns and the inadequate laws currently in place.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • SueW

      That is always the dumbest comment. Yes, guns kill people. If he didn't have a gun he wouldn't have harmed her. Why is the idiot shooting skunks anyway?

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

      Unfortunately it is the morons who usually own guns.

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

      But for some reason, people get upset when you try to create laws or have restrictions to keep morons from buying guns. Just like not everyone should be allowed to procreate simply because they can breathe, not everyone should have the right to own a gun because they have hands, or drive a car, etc. But whatever; people think everyone should have a magical right to do or have anything they want. Something tells me most people upset by restrictions to their "rights", are the exact same people that don't deserve them. Gawd Bless America!

      October 22, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. tutuvabene

    The guy would have had a more valid excuse if he was threatenend in some way. But, a skunk? Clearly, reckless endangerment at the least.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. lilgtogirl

    He was drinking. Come on. Who the hell is that afraid of a skunk you see in the distance? Only a drunk moron thinking it was the boogie man.

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

      It's not about being afraid of skunks. It's a "Look it's a varmint, I'm a-gonna kill it" mentality.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mona

    Stupid redneck. Guns, Halloween and shooting skunks, there are just so many things wrong with this. Hope the kid survives. The idiot should be arrested.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. Not Likely

    Wasn't drinking? A 9 year old girl is around 4 feet tall. Blind, stupid, drunk or high, you take your pick.

    But let's not mention that this wouldn't have happened if the idiot hadn't been carrying a gun.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  8. Edwin

    I hope the girl recovers and the shooter is severely punished. Nobody should shoot a gun at a skunk when there are little children wandering about... and this is why.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. John C

    He thought the little girl was a skunk. This excuse will make sense to a lot of Americans, because the U.S. is full of dumb, evil killers.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ryan

    The man should be shot himself. Poor girl...

    October 22, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  11. yosteff

    Let's count the ways that this person is an idiot. Only an idiot shoots at a target that has not been fully visualized. The worst kind of idiot does so at night. Only an idiot brings out a shot gun when there are 30 kids running around outside. The worst kind of idiot does so at night. I am not a big gun person but i hunted in my youth. I still remember the basic rules about being sure that your target is what you think it is and making sure that all the people in your vicinity are behind you. I hope that this little girl doesn't lose her life because this relative wanted to show off his macho stick in front of the party guests.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Obviously there is a problem with our gun laws if someone this stupid was able to get a gun.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      @mark – The same thing could be said for the welfare, alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceutical and automobile laws.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. viiilx04

    Unfortunately, if he were drinking he probably would have missed.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. Charge the shooter...

    There were children around....and who shoots skunks anyway?

    October 22, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. James

    How the hell do u think a 9 year old girl is a skunk?? What kind of mutant skunks has this idiot seen? Clearly theres a huge size difference even if the kids on all 4s... and to use a shotgun u got to be fairly close. I hope this idiot goes away for a long time.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sanibelle

    The guy wasn't even drunk, just a moron. Who takes a shotgun to any kind of a party??? I wonder what is the NRA's stance on that? More proof that there should be a basic intelligence test for anyone who wants to buy a gun, let alone a shotgun. The shooter should go to jail for shooting while intellectually impaired.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
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