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. Nure Kassas

    What I can't seem to wrap my head around... (even if you put aside the fact that he was supposedly sober and he mistook a 9-year old sized girl for a small skunk and he failed to identify who/what he was shooting at)... she was clearly shot more than once if she was hit in the back, arm, and neck.. If you are going to shoot at a skunk, it would be to scare it off right? So wouldn't one shot be enough? I think charges need to be pressed...

    October 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • jennymay

      Shot guns can fire shot or slugs. Shot is smaller pellets contained in a shell, they scatter a bit when shot, so if the shooter had those in his gun, it is possible for her to be hit in several places.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Yet another person commenting and showing their ignorance.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    Big skunk. Something smells......fishy.....

    October 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. macdoodle

    What was he doing with a loaded gun at/near a children's party? This is endangerment that goes far beyond stupid. He needs to be charged as completely reckless and never allowed to own any sort of weapon again.
    People should be allowed to own guns for hunting and protection of property, but this is more proof there need to be classes in use and abuse and MH checks and and strict licensing requirements to get and maintain ownership.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. BOMBO © the view from Canada

    Shrug. Enjoy your guns, y'all.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • OMG


      October 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canada suxs

      let us know if you ever need any help aye

      October 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ex

      I do! Thank you.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • jennymay

      @Canada sucks, seems more like America needed Canada in Afghanistan, wanted Canada in Iraq but Canada had too much help. We lost some good men and women helping out. Also, seeing as Canada has the most stable banks around, maybe Canada can help America straighten out their mess. Try again.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ralph Unger

      Come into my house and you will meet my guns. Of course you would never do such a thing. No guns would be a good thing but it will not happen so I believe in gun safety which means in part that you do not shoot what you cannot see clearly This guy was clearly an I d i oi t..

      October 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ralph Unger

    Shooting a girl is stupid, but so is shooting a skunk. If brains were dynamite then this guy could not hurt anything. To bad he had a gun...

    October 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BeachN

    Sounds like the person that did the shooting needs to steer clear of guns since he can't see well nor does he have any common sense to reason out that skunks are never as big as a nine year old.. What a shame...and what an idiot.. Poor child....

    October 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. rms

    Many are wondering how a 9 year old could be mistaken for a skunk – I believe the story implied she was wearing a black and white hat – and was crouching down "hiding" on the edge of the party. The question which begs to be answered is who in their right mind brings a guy to a party where there are children running around in costume? Maybe the shooter wasn't drinking but this sounds like a party where no thought was given to child safety. If the adults are running around with loaded guns, leave the children at home with a babysitter.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • OMG

      Armed all the chidren, this would never happened

      October 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. SEF

    Clearly all details are not included, this is CNN after all! Also as to the gun issue...the gun did not shoot the girl, the IDIOT did so there is no gun control issue but there is definitely an IDIOT control issue that is getting worse every day in this country. Interesting how most people like to speculate in favor of their personal beliefs and agendas as opposed to offering some form of useful input.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas A. Hawk

      OK, it's an idiot control issue. How about if we don't allow idiots to handle firearms. Now, how do we define an idiot? ...

      October 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rogue351

      The point you and so many on the right fail to mention. If the idiot didnt have a gun in the first place it would not have happened. You are correct the gun did not shoot the idiot did. But the gun gave the idiot the means. Fewer guns in the hands of idiot leads to less of a chance of people being shot. Again something the right cant seem to get their head around, basic math.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • FineTimesIndeed

      The IDIOT Control Issue in this country has become ever apparent after the success of honey boo boo... Kind of makes you wonder... should we really be blaming the government for our problems these days?

      October 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • SEF

      Thomas – idiots would be identified by a test which I thought would be obvious and not require an explanation. For further clarification, and just as obvious, there is a need for classification of 'idiots' in a number of funbctional areas of society. Government needs to quit being lazy and regulating to the lowest common denominator! Starting with the removal of all the useless legislation that exists now.....I am not citing specifics here, do some research and find out what I am referencing...it will not be difficult at all.

      October 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • SEF

      Rogue351 – You have seen a single post of mine and you are concluding that I am on the right? Interesting! You mentioned the gun giving the idiot the means and basic math....have you ever heard of the misuse of numerous other implements being used to harm or kill? By the way, I am referring to knives, IAD's, baseball bats, the list goes on but the point is that these give other idiots the means so should they ALL be banned or controlled? What is the common thread in all cases, the IDIOT is! Also not simple math, it's actually fairly complex – addition aznd subtraction does not solve everything. The easy way is not always the answer even though it requires less thinking!

      October 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • SEF

      FineTimesIndeed – I agree with you there, if you have seen the movie 'Idiocracy', that is where society is headed and it will be realized unless people quit behaving as sheep and start using the grey matter for something other than conditioned responses to the stimuli that should be initiating rational thought processes and critical thinking. By the way, did you know that 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' is the number one rated show on TLC? I agree with that rating if people are watching in order to learn what NOT to do! Very sad indeed!

      October 22, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gene

    People are soooooooooo stupid; Darwin was right! THIS I would have expected to be out of North Carolina. UNbelievable.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. geewaorker

    dirt bag probably thought that he was going to be the first in his family to shoot a 60 pound talking skunk

    October 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. roberto

    Did he run inside to get the gun or was he already holding it? Who thought this guy could be around people? Pennsylvania sounds awful.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. catsnake

    Are you kidding me!!!! Lock this guy up for a long long time!!! First, even if it was a skunk not only is it not right to the kill anything you don't like otherwise he and we would all be dead or killers, but also that is just extremely reckless!! He probably is some old timer or town known hick who pulls a lot of weight there, both physically and figuratively so he probably will be let go. But I'm hope he gets life!

    October 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TheDoctor

    Did he drop her with the first shot ?

    October 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rogue351

      Troll – Sick, what makes you think that is funny. There is nothing funny about any of this. You sir are a perfect example of the stupidity that is the gun community in America today.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas A. Hawk

      The weapon was a shotgun... Most likely one shot.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. kaligaclark

    So cheney is hunting again......

    October 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. LittleBearFN

    I*di*t... Who shoots a gun near people, much less children. The shooter needs to be in jail for the rest of his life just for being this stup^d....

    October 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
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