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. Siddhartha

    Why did he shoot it even if it was a skunk all the time?

    October 22, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. Humbug

    Yup!

    October 22, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. Carl

    How can there be the slightest doubt about charging this monster?! Nobody in their right mind pulls out a gun to shoot some random figure in the distance.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      A skunk is about the size of a house cat. A nine year old is much larger- alcohol and drugs involved?

      October 22, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Ms

      I agree a 9 year old girl is much larger than a skunk ..how could u not tell??

      October 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      Unfortunately not, he's evidently always that stupid.

      October 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      They have not charged him yet because one they do not know if the girl is going to live which will have a big impact on the possible charges and two because he shot the girl thinking it was a skunk so it was without malice. If he had shot the girl knowing he was shooting a child then sure he would have been arrested , but it was an accident, a very, very, very stupid one sure. I am sure he will be charged, and someone should certainly take his guns away. I have nothing against gun ownership when those owners are responisble.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Sir Dude

      It wasn't an accident. He aimed, fired, and hit his target. This is the problem with the word accident, it is often used incorrectly. He fully intended to do what he did, so it can't be an accident.

      October 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. That would be the way to go

    Mistook a 'little girl" for a skunk???? How "little" was this girl??

    October 22, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. mike

    When was the last time you saw a skunk the size of a 9 year old child ??

    October 22, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Since she was in all black hiding after dark, it would be nearly impossible to see her complete outline or judge her size.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. meles

    Only in America...

    October 22, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. Grizzly

    See, this wouldn't have happened if she had a gun, or if everyone else had a gun at that party.

    (Just kidding...)

    October 22, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. NRA Montra

    This would not have happened if all the kids at the party had been carrying concealed weapons!
    He would have never gotten a shot off!!

    October 22, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • todd

      right, more guns are definitely the answer. That 9 year old girl should've had an oozie on her, and been on the lookout as she was headed to a party ! The pro gun NRA hicks have the stupidest arguments i've ever heard.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. J.C.

    Exhibit A (or perhaps Z) in why letting everyone go about armed and dangerous is a bad idea.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. lindaluttrell

    A "skunk" wearing a hat...what was the shooter smoking/drinking??? I did not know skunks got that big...

    October 22, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. J.C.

    Also, I have a feeling this one won't appear in the NRA pages touting the heroic citizens defending themselves with guns.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • todd

      if she had been carrying a gun, and been on the lookout for others with guns as she headed to a party, then this would never have happened !! These kinds of incidents would never ever happen if everyone carried a gun. Stupidest statements ever made seem to always come from the NRA.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  12. GOD

    This would not have happened if everybody carried a gun... if he knew the skunk might shoot back, he would have reconsidered.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. dotheflippin'math

    How awful. How drunk do you have to be to mistake a little girl for a skunk? I'm sure all you NRA fans would defend this as a justifiable shooting. He was just "standing his ground" against a dangerous skunk, right? Guns don't kill people, idiots with guns kill people. Unfortunately, idiots love guns. Most intelligent people see them as dangerous. As for skunks, sure they stink when you run them over, and they might rip-up your lawn getting to the grubs eating the roots, but they also eat TONS of mice. Look it up. They're better mousers than cats, so much so, that they used to take them on sailing ships back in the old days. Btw, most skunks do NOT carry rabies, unlike the popular myth/excuse used to justify killing them. I'll pray for the little girl, and all the other children who have been shot and/or killed by mistake.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • todd

      Amazing, you actually get it, while most of the toothless nra hicks think having every gun under the sun keeps them even more protected. This is the only issue where innocent lives are lost, and people don't want to change or be progressive about it at all. And if right to bear arms doesn't state what kind of weapon you can have to defend yourself, then how far away are we from letting poeple have grenades, and rockets, etc. Grenades don't kill people, people kill people. Nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people.

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

    Questions for Mr. Shooter:
    1. How do you mistake a 9 yr old girl with a 10 to 20 lb skunk?
    2. Why would you even want top shoot a skunk at first sight?
    3. Why would you shoot anything without 100% positive ID?
    4. How many teef do you have?

    October 22, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  15. rare_earth

    I have no hope for the human race.
    None.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • rstlne

      Hold up a minute there – not all of us are stupid enough to fire a weapon in the dark at something we THINK is a skunk (or any other animal)! I too find this act absolutely disgusting and idiotic, however not all humans are that stupid; many millions of us are nicer and smarter than that.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
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