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. Marco

    Gee, maybe people shouldn't just shoot at what they think are animals willy nilly. Another idea would have been to simply ignore it (if it were a skunk).

    Hope the little girl pulls through after this obscenely careless action.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Hawk

    Armed and extremely stupid

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

    While fire arms can be bought with money, the brain and common sense to handle them responsibly cannot.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • JP

      I advocate for every American to own a gun but this man showed poor judgement to think it was OK to shoot a shot gun right after a kids costume party. He is truly a dumb donkey who probably better off being charged with some sort of negligent homicide charge.

      October 22, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. PedoSylvania

    Great Question... perhaps best answered by dim-witted family court judges across America. They "shoot from the hip" as a standard operating procedure.... and harm our children as a result.... Yee Honore...

    October 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. slumanfl

    if that skunk looked like George Bush or Dick Cheney, I would have shot it, until I knew it was dead

    October 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Krista

    Why on Earth would the moron shoot an innocent skunk anyway? They stink to high heaven when they die. Sounds like a trigger happy fool...shooting in the dark with kids around. He should be prosecuted.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • JP

      I advocate for every American to own a gun but this man showed poor judgement to think it was OK to shoot a shot gun right after a kids costume party. He is truly a dumb donkey who probably better off being charged with some sort of negligent homicide charge.

      October 22, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Deacon Blue

    I'm guessing it's illegal to shot skunks in that manner as well.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lobelia

    I always bring my shotgun to Halloween parties, just in case there's a skunk lurking outside.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Just Me

    How the hell do you confuse a custom of a 9 YEAR OLD for a skunk? Since when are skunks that big? This seems to have been intentionally and not mistaken.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drop_bear

      I'll go out on a limb and suggest that alkeehowl was probably involved in the perception problem.

      October 22, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. NRA Rules

    This doesn't seem like a fair fight.
    If they wanted to hunt the little girl, at least give her a fighting chance and dress her up like a bear or a lion.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. keith

    If that 9 year old girl had been carrying a firearm she could have protected herself. All gun violence can be solved by everyone carrying a gun.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jack 3

    That stinks!

    October 22, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. gggg

    The problem with any idiot being allowed a gun. Too many people practice the line from a Tom Lehrer song: "... and if something moves, you shoot ...". How can anyone who claims to be a responsible adult shoot at what could only have been a shadowy figure in the dark which he could not tell for sure what it was. Absolute moron. And the problem is, there are huge numbers of them out there. First rule of shooting: Always be sure of your target, i.e., know WHAT you are shooting at. Second rule: Always be sure of your backstop, i.e., if you MISS, where is the shot going to go? Could it hurt an innocent in either case? Obviously this idiot has had not shooting rules and has no common sense. Charge him.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    And for what? Our inalienable right to bear arms? Everybody wants a gun until they accidentally shoot somebody they love, like in this case. Or somebody who's innocent, like in the Martin case. Or until their child accidentally shoots himself in the face, which has happened countless times before. School massacres, movie theater shootings, the list goes on. All because we want to be big men with guns. Look at other countries where guns are illegal to the public. Just look at the world we could live in if people were willing to give up their guns.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. History Bear

    Another fine example of inbreeding. 1. you don't shoot a skunk anywhere but in the head and not even then unless you are worried about rabies. 2. you ALWAYS identify your target. This ignorant putz violated every rule in the book. Probably had a few drinks. I hope the little girl is ok and recovers 10 % but this bozo needs time in prision and losing his right to bear arms.

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