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. fred said

    Prayers for a speedy recovery sent.
    Optometrist needed for the person who shot her.
    Accidents do happen unfortunately... hindsight is 20/20

    October 22, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. stupidpeoplesuck

    A nine year old child does not look like a skunk, even if one were imbecile enough to shoot a skunk.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. sly

    So there are still people in Pennslyvania stupid enough to shoot skunks?

    Wow ... sometimes I feel like America, (and likely the world), is inhabited by really dumb country bumpkins.

    I'll bet they shoot bee's there when they are having a picnic.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. mork@ork.com

    if everyone in the USA had guns, this wouldnt have happened.. the other kids could have stopped this massacre

    October 22, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joe

    What was the stupid git doing with a loaded shot gun where children are at a party anyway? I don't thing I'd bother even considering an answer to the question. Another example of Freud's concept of the shallow end if the gene pool.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Micael

      Darwin.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  6. Micael

    Identify your target.(I think it's a skunk?) Pull trigger.
    Another well trained hunter.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. Anna

    Who hosts a party and then shoots something off in the distance (with a gun) that they don't know what it is....that's not causing a problem....I'm sure the guy feels horrible but I don't have the words to describe his poor judgment. This could have been anyone of his guests....anyone could have been walking out there! ....but it had to be a child.....so sad.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sean

    Who thinks it's a good idea to pull out a shotgun at a kids halloween party in the first place, let alone fire at something without identifying it first?

    October 22, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bill from GA

    In the South, if you kill someone in a hunting 'accident'. it's OK. Yet if you have an open container of alcohol in your car, it is assumed you might be getting intoxicated, and that you might have an accident, and then someone might get hurt or killed, so you get a ticket or get arrested.

    The idiot with the shotgun should be charged. , and NEVER allowed to have or hold any firearm again. With loose gun laws should come more responsibility for harm done by gun users.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. steve

    A dark shadow ... shot ! arrest this idiot.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. dogphotog

    Sad. In a perfect world, every person owning a gun would be required to take not just shooting leasons, but a basic course in common sense use of a leathal weapon.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • duckforcover

      Gun training 101: Identify your target. Basic gun safety should be required but who's going to pay for it?

      October 22, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • CG

      Most Americans would fail such a test miserably.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      The person who buys the gun should. That;'s the first thing I did before shooting my gun.

      I have no problem requiring proof of safety knowledge before a gun purchase can happen.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. ET

    Hate to tell that guy that when you shoot a skunk it will burst it's scent gland and you're going to have a stink on your hands, just like when they are hit by cars. Skunks are loner animals that live only a year in most cases. I pray that this girl lives far longer than that.

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

      Huh? You make no sense!

      October 22, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Honest citizen

      You just proved YOUR ignorance of the animal. Try looking things up BEFORE you show your lack of intelligence

      October 22, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. Juli

    I used to be anti gun, but over time I've come to the realization that people should have the right to own them considering how much senseless crime there is in this country. But seriously! Can we please have an IQ test be one of the determining factors as to who can or can't carry them. One obviously isn't very bright to be doing what this guy did.

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

      IQ Test? The nutjob in Aurora was in a PHd program. IQ Test fail, everyone else in the theater needed a gun to protect themselves from him.

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

    what a moron! I hope she is o.k. Hope he goes to jail!

    October 22, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. Micael

    Sadly he is probably allowed to vote.

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

      Michael, The same can be said for the countless morons on both sides of the fence.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
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