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. Kbalz

    Large skunk is about 14 pounds, and about 19 inches in length. Average 9 year old American girl, 63 pounds and 43 inches. The shooter is obviously on drugs.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rogue351

    Typical mind set of way to many people who own guns. Shoot first as questions later. Yet again another perfect example why the NRA is not doing America any favors. This type of wild west behavior should not be tolerated rather it is a gand banger in a city block or a red neck shooting what he thinks to be a skunk. Point is there are to many guns. Alot of the people who own guns do not have the IQ to be able to make clear choices that in many cases endanger people around them. It is true guns dont kill people. Stupid people with guns kill people.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Shawn

    Not drunk, just stupid to begin with! How do people fire a gun without knowing exactly what they are shooting at?

    October 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas A. Hawk

      By- ready, shoot, aim.

      October 24, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. buzz

    Best wishes for the little girl

    October 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • PedoSylvania

      Clearly, adults don't like kids in PA.

      October 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jonc

    Seriously? What reason would you have for dhooting a weapon at a party? Someone needs to shoot him.

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

      It's the Second Amendment, baby!

      October 22, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mikie

      @DanW, I believe the Second Amendment is the right to own firearms, not the right to use them irresponsibly.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobo

      A while ago there was a similar case when a grandfather shot his grandkid and the police were not pressing charges. The low standards for gun responsibility plus the widespread availability of guns means that a lot of kids get shot.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mikie

      It occurred to me after the post, that your reply may have actually been sarcasm. If so, disregard my initial reply.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. geewaorker

    pls post a pic of the viscus 60 pound skunk in you area that could be mistaken for a 9 year old child

    October 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Andi

    I heard on the news this morning that it was her father who shot her. You'd think he'd know what she was dressed like?

    October 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. geewaorker

    next time when he uses the shotgun he should push the trigger (think about it)

    October 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. David Ellis

    There are too many incidents like this one. Even police officers handle firearms in an unsafe manner (see the Empire State building shooting and how many innocents were wounded by police).
    I have come to the conclusion that humans are generally not intelligent enough to handle firearms safely, and thus your right to bear arms is trumped by everyone elses right to not get shot by them, including your loved ones.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Q1

      you are wrong. I have a right to bear arms. Safety is the risk you take for living. safety is not a right.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tom Scott

    Even if it was a skunk...just pull out your shotgun and shoot it???

    October 22, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. EJ

    Sound like one of the many fools who should not be allowed to get near a weapon....

    October 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Pat in IL

    Whoever heard of a skunk as big as a 9 year old? Also, shooting in a location where children are having a party is either a vicious attack of a failed IQ test. Arrest and punish this dangerous idiot!

    October 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. eLew

    At least if he was drinking, he would have an excuse, now he is just an idiot.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hugh Hefner

    whatever happened to "know what you are shooting" I took hunters safety 30 years ago and that was one of the first things that they told you about handling a gun. Don't shoot something unless you are certain of what it is. Now days, people shoot through walls, bushes, and cars. Oops! I thought it was a bear in my attic, so I just sot through the ceiling throught the whole house. Some people are just so dumb.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marco


      October 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • slumanfl

      I agree, and they should have an I.Q. test like other have said, this is pure stupidity, that skink was posing a real threat to your family right? can you tell the difference between a skunk and a large figure in the dark (not sure what it is but I think I will shoot and ask questions later mentality), that's why some people should not be allowed to own a firearm, take this mans gun away and never let him own one again

      October 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Solution

    The solution to this problem is to charge the man and take away his guns. If you act like a responsible shooter you can keep them, and I suspect most would have no problem with that. No one should get a 2nd chance at owning firearms if they are incapable of operating one safely and everyone should be prosecuted if mistakes are made with one.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
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