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. Bill

    I say there are too many northern liberals that are no different than the radical right they so despise.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Annie

    She's nine years old. That's like 10 times the size of a regular skunk.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      10 times larger is math and science. Gun loving Christians don't believe in science. You can't ask rednecks to give up their God just so they don't shoot little kids.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      And if anyone thinks I jest, the Texas GOP tried to ban critical thought. Well, critical thought is exactly what was missing here. And it was missing by Republican design. Because a moron is easier to rip off.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jonathan

    Guuuunnnnnsssssss, what's not to love? If it moves, blast a piece of metal through it, keep shooting till it stops convulsing. Redneck republicanism at its finest.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Freedom Fascist

    Is it hitting anybody else that the anti-gun pundits have been out in force this year. They want to take your gun away! I wonder what happens to a society unable to defend itself when it no longer have the right to bear fire arms and the government continues to expand "security forces" within...(Hint: Hitler's FIRST chancellory directive included removing firearms from homes and giving the police stop and search rights without due process or recourse)

    October 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • cmh01

      We may end up like some 3rd world country like Canada or England. Oh, the horror.

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

      Question...Who pass the nation's first and toughest assault weapons ban and proclaimed it a model for the nation..
      Obama or Romney?

      October 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. wcb2009

    right... cause the first thing comes to mind when you see a skunk is, "oh boy oh boy, yeehaw! A Skunk! Lets shoot it!"

    October 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Norm

    I'd curse out all the worthless gun toting rednecks, but half of them are illiterate and the other half are on Fox News. Oh well, Darwin will get them all eventually. Ye ha y'all.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Punctus

    If she had only been armed this tragedy could have been averted!

    October 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Punctus

    Hey, you wait until the skunk attacks and it could be too late! Put a couple in whatever is moving just to be safe. Go NRA!

    October 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. yAS

    The guy knew there were children in costume at the party, most likely knew this child was dressed as a skunk, yet he shot at what he "thought" (was not sure) was a skunk, and we have people commenting here that they don't know if this was actually reckless. That is about as dumb as the actions of this shooter.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ford Jabre

    this guy may think his hand is a spider, take the shot gun before its too late

    October 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. zapper

    Let's fight hard for our guns. You never know when you might need to off a 9 yr. old.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. gf

    Heck yeah charge him. "Accident" or not, he shot her. One of the main rules of shooting is to 'know' what you're shooting, not just 'think'. He should be charged, and his rights to own guns should be taken away for about 60 years.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas A. Hawk

      Exactly, except in a military or self defense situation, you really should properly identify the target before firing. (I understand the army putting "lead in the air" and I understand returning fire even if you can't see the shooter. Otherwise, properly ID the target before you shoot!!!)

      At the very least, I think this is negligence.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Thoams – In self defense you better be darn sure of your target. Self defense laws don't protect the shooter if he kills an innocent person.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kate

    If the Republicans want to celebrate a person who used their big-bad gun to stop an intruder, they need to look at the flip side, where this crap happens. And I guarantee you, there are TEN TIMES the amount of these "adcidental" shootings than there are justified "protection".

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

      Prove it! Fake facts at it again.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas A. Hawk

      Bill, Kate's comments are clearly opinion (if you read carefully). Attacking the post is fine but people don't misrepresented it.

      She said "I guarantee" - that's opinion. You could ask her how she's backing up her guarantee...

      October 22, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Thomas,

      A guarantee is not an opinion. She stated she can prove there are 10x more accidental shootings than self defense using a firearm.

      Noun:
      A formal promise or assurance (typically in writing) that certain conditions will be fulfilled, esp. that a product will be repaired or...
      Verb:
      Provide a formal assurance or promise, esp. that certain conditions shall be fulfilled relating to a product, service, or transaction.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      To Bill: Well Bill, she could give you those numbers because the CDC was tracking this stuff very accurately until the gun lobby bought off congress to make them stop tabulating those results. I don't think it takes much mathematical prowess to realize that the CDC was forced to stop tabulating the results because they showed the horrible devastation of uncontrolled guns in America.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      2 weeks ago you dems were laughing at the repubs for claiming the unemployment numbers were cooked. Now you're throwing out that the CDC was forced to stop collecting stats because of the NRA. A simple search shows that that accidental gun deaths are going down per capita and are on par with our friends up north. Violent crime is way down in most of the country as well. As both the President and his challenger stated last week. The problem lies in ones upbringing and we need to straighten out our moral compass.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      oh and the number of guns have dramatically increased yet the violence and accidents are decreasing. The problem with most of you people is that you use selective stats to help your case. BTW the media rarely if ever runs a national story when an intruder is shot dead or scared off by the gun owner. Though I would suspect the scenario happens quite often.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Slogun

    So they can keep their guns.
    (and then dress their children up like little animals and hunt them at halloween parties)

    October 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I honestly believe this is the most accurate statement in the comments. What he did was purely idiotic. ... You know what's next... It was Obama's fault. I hope this little girl is in though and this man is charged for negligence.

      October 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Caitlin

    OK, if you spot a dark figure in the distance, can't you tell that a girl is much larger than a skunk? Even if she's crawling on all four? And better yet, if it's dark, get a flashlight (or spotlight) on what you see so you can see for sure what it is.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
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