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. Jim Brody

    Well, ya never know! He mighta had a good reason. Maybe that little girl was gonna steal one of his guns or somethin. Or maybe he was just standing his ground.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. AuntySocial

    this man (that much can be figured out) should not be allowed anywhere near a gun. lord help the man if it had been my child he had shot. he would be begging to be arrested to protect him from me. I wouldn't need a gun.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Brilliant! Bring your fists to a gun fight.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. stevetall

    What kind of a frickin' clown/moron fires a shotgun at something he can't see clearly? At night? When there's a lot of kids around? I'm sorry, but this idiot should be removed from the gene pool.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mark

    Why was it so important for this guy to shoot and animal that was off in the distance, not bothering anyone? He should go to jail. This is the sort of moron that help support people against guns. I do own guns, but it is idiots like this that make anti-NRA'ers on the right side of the law. Imagine it was your daughter

    October 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Hunter

    Hunting skunks at night is apparently legal in PA, but good grief, shouldn't you make sure before you shoot? (One of the cardinal rules of hunting). I'm sure the shooter is sick about what he did, but shooting at something that he thinks might be a skunk, or anything else, is just idiotic.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cannuck

    If you can't see what something is, don't shot it. Jail time.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Canuck

    If the girl had been permitted to carry a gun, this never would have happened.........

    October 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hugh Jass

    I believe I would have mistaken him for a skunk several times by now, with fatal results, if he shot my kid.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Church of Suicidal

    Sorry. CNN attached the response to the wrong post.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cannuck

    Jail time.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. KatLagmay

    Since when is a 9 year old girl and a skunk the same size, shape, or smell? Bull$ %t.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Robert Williamson

    Yeah, it's the 9 year old's fault. The adult male was simply firing a shot gun near a home, in the dark, to protect humanity from the lethal danger of a skunk. Who could imagine that a child might dress up in an animal costume on hallowen.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Americagoneinsane

    Sniper in Michigan, four shot dead in Wisconsin, 9 year old shot in Pennsylvania's New Sewickley Township... all this in just the last three days. The NRA must be very pleased.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thenextstep

      YES WE ARE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for your comment. I'll be sure to send you an extra special invite into the club.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe Mama

      I heard that some people died in a car accident. AAA must be very pleased!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RagingDragon

    Drunks w/ guns.... Makes a compelling argument for stiffer gun control.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • NotTheMama

      We don't need more gun control. They simply need to apple the adequate laws that are already on the books. Prosecute this man for his illegal use of a firearm. And prosecute every person that abuses his second amendment right to bear arms.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Pam

    Someone, please tell me where on PLANET EARTH, you have ever seen a skunk the size of a 9 year old girl? Seriously!!! If you're going to advocate the right to bear arms, how about adding.... only if you can pass an intellectual and psychological test before you can purchase or own a gun. Perhaps that might help minimize sheer stupidity such as this.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • NotTheMama

      As a gun enthusiast, I agree with your idea of having people qualify to prove they're fit to have and use guns. I don't want morons to have access to guns or vehicles or voting machines.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      The number of gun owners would drop by 90% if they were required to pass a basic intelligence test.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I agree. Let's add the same rules to driving, voting and parenting.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
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