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. Grandpa Simpson

    Too bad he wasn't as drunk as a skunk, then he would've just shot himself.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • WJWWWJ


      October 22, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. biglio

    So you see an animal going around minding its own business and your thinking is to shoot it.......and you wonder why America is in trouble?
    I hope the girl survives and this imbecile and all is relatives learned a lesson (not holding my breath).
    And by the way, for all of you thinking this was a redneck, Sewickley is the most affluent neighborhood in Pittsburgh....

    October 22, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Big2Do

      As if people in other countries don't shoot or kill animals for fun, right? What a dopey thing to say.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • sixin

      What he said. Ever hear of poaching?

      October 22, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Big2Do, as if every other country is doing so well? What a dopey thing to say!

      October 22, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. alan Knoblauch

    Obviously this would not have happened if every nine year old girl and every skunk was given a gun for self protection.

    Let's keep our little girls and skunks safe. Arm them. We need more guns. Vote Republican.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • siva

      Don't make politics out of this tragedy.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark of Tennessee

      Brilliant post!! Sad but true

      October 22, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Webhoncho

      Yes, as I call them, the MRA ("M" stands for MORONS) will insist that gun law restrictions immediately be dropped for all nine-year olds in skunk costumes. Clearly a need for all girls to carry a gun for self-defense, high capacity magazines and Black Talon ammunition. Every party goer should be required to be packing... This will preserve all citizens rights for self-defense..


      October 22, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Johm

      If those 9 year olds and skunks would have had a job instead of roaming in the woods at night trying to find their welfare check, they wouldn't have been shot.

      Vote democrat.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dany

    Interesting.... even if it was a skunk why would you think its ok to shoot it with a shotgun?

    October 22, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • KIKU

      True. He is definitely an idiot to shoot even if he thought it was a skunk.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. mike feliciano.

    Very sad.... Guns dont kill people- people do.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • karina

      All these quotes about guns don't kill people..people do....is so LAME. It proves the point that gun control is a necessity to keep them OUT of the hands of SOME people. And in the case of Americans....it's about HALF the country.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Nabiano

      Absolutely agree, which is why we need more regulation on who owns these guns. I am not against gun ownership, but I think regulation is too relaxed to the point that any irresponsible idiot can get one.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • todd

      american's that have a love affair with guns do...

      October 22, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. LarryB

    If it hadn't been a gun, it would have been a knife or some other weapon. This guy would have gone out there and slashed or clubbed that alleged skunk. Guns don't kill, people do. AK-47's for everyone!! Nuclear weapons even!!

    October 22, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • alan Knoblauch

      I'm drinking with you Larry, You Rock!

      October 22, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • todd

      yup right to bear arms doesn't specify what you can have, so why not just legalize it all, and then claim xyz don't kill people, people kill people, and then forget about the lives lost, and move on !

      October 22, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. KIKU

    This is outrageous. I fail to understand why he should even shoot a skunk. This is a clear mis-use of the gun. He should be charged with endangering other lives (he could have shot anyone in the dark). Assuming that it would be a skunk could have been fatal to anyone.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. Webhoncho

    Terrible tragedy and pray for the little girl. Someone with NRA ties will defend "oh, this isn't a gun problem." Yeah right, bozos. Clearly this gun ownership by morons in the USA is a BIG problem. Now I'm sure you'll go into your tirade about "needed for self-defense" and "well, little girls in skunk outfits can be hurt by knives, baseball bats and other deadly weapons that aren't regulated." Uh..

    ..You won't throw a knife towards a hill to skunk. Oh right, I suppose you'll argue that the guy could have gotten into this car, driven up the hill and run over her. So guns aren't a problem.. they don't kill people, skunks kill people. You are sick.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. Scales of Justice

    The description did not include anything white which I thought skunks typically have. Since the description appears to be as black, kinda makes you wonder what he thought he saw...hmmmmmm.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  10. luckyponytoo

    Who brings a shotgun to a Halloween party?? I mean, even if it were part of a costume, why would you bring shells? Was he afraid someone was going to steal his candy? Not to mention, didn't they realize that one of the kids was missing, and therefore shooting randomly into the darkness might be a bad thing?? It just galls me that people shoot at stuff without finding out what it is first.

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

    He is simply an idiot!

    October 22, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. michelle

    This is a nine year old girl. That would be a skunk at an average weight of around 65 pounds. The individual who shot this little girl, should have never had a gun. Obviously this person lacks common sense and is trigger happy. Poor girl.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ian Harold Brown

    It's not even Halloween yet.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • fred said

      good observation and point, shooter was not aware that it could be something other than what he thought it was.
      Most hunters don't call out before shooting "Are you a skunk!?!"

      October 22, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. Happy Nemo

    A charge will be filed, otherwise, next time if I shoot some one, I will claim that was a Komodo dragon!

    October 22, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dick Smegma

    Was she a groid?

    October 22, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
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