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. Anzing

    Another justifiable reason why we should all carry guns. You just never know when a child dressed as a skunk might pose a threat to you and your loved ones.

    Our prisons are full, but this moron deserves time spent.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
    • biff mcguzzle

      What's that? BOOM! Oops, neighbor's cat. Hey, there's a squirrel. BOOM Why thar's a bar ! BOOM Where's Fido?Keepin the world safe for democracy, one critter at a time.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Slogun

    Police will determine later Monday whether they will charge the shooter, whom they did not name.

    Anybody know where Dick Cheney is?

    October 22, 2012 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. Robert

    Until we start holding family members responsible for their incredibly stupid actions, children are going to continue to die from gunshot wounds. I can't tell you how many times I've seen children die by improperly secured firearms only to hear the "well I'm sure the parent feels bad enough already" mantra. They should be in prison.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Gauntlet

      I think the NRA shoud also be held responsible. The NRA should be fined $1 million every time a civilian is shot by another civilian. And every time a civilian is killed by a gunshot from another civilian, a random NRA member shoud be hot and killed. Just my opinion.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • TheUberMitch

      I agree. Let us hunt the hunters. Kill the killers.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
    • PevanB

      @gauntlet – First of all it would be shot and killed not hot and killed. Your logic is overwhelmingly short sided, foolish and flawed. It actually took me a minute to just soak it in, my mind could not even comprehend just how deep the idiocy was.. You are the reason people should not marry close relatives – they spawn children such as yourself.
      AND Yes the goof that shot her should be charged. Stupid should be a crime

      October 22, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
    • DannyK5782

      I'm sorry to read that you have witnessed the deaths of so many children. Why are you present during these senseless deaths?

      October 22, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Guy

      Gauntlet: Send that bill to Thomas Jefferson.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      First you jump on Gauntlet for saying "hot and killed" instead of "shot and killed", and then you, yourself, say "short sided" when the phrase is "short sighted". Don't criticize another person's grammer or spelling when you are just as bad (if not worse).

      October 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chris

    Hell yes the relative needs to be charged. Every action has a reaction and his actions needs to be accountable.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Peg

    Hunting is wrong.

    Dressing a little girl up like a skunk and hunting her is way way wrong.

    People today are messed up.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      oh! Here we go. The anti-hunting nuts are joining the debate.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slogun

      I agree...if you're going to hurt her, at least give her a fighting chance. Dress her up like a lion. A skunk...that's not even close to a fair fight.

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

      The article didn't even say that she was dressed like a skunk. She was dressed in black.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lonewolf

    Burn the guns! Save the skunks!

    October 22, 2012 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. Paladin

    Who has a loaded shotgun when there are small kids around? I mean other than this moron. Maybe he thought it was a skunk with a gun and he fired in self defense.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. Al

    Wow, somehow I feel like I should start buying as many guns as possible before you people outlaw them.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. shadowdiver

    Thanks again NRA!

    October 22, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  10. pw1121

    I'll keep my freedom, guns and religion, you can keep the change (Obama).

    October 22, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Spoken like a mindless right-winger.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      You can keep your religion and don't get any on me.

      October 23, 2012 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. atroy

    Who knew D ck Cheney had family in Pennsylvania?

    October 22, 2012 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. Happy Nemo

    Stupid relative.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. jon

    Shooting a gun at a Halloween party? Isn't that a little extreme with kids around? Talk about stupid people, this shooter should be shot.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Tyler Durden

      I'm not condoning the incident, but it sounds like the shooter may have thought he was preventing a skunk from ruining the party: "New Sewickley Township police say the girl was over a hillside and wearing a black costume and a black hat with a white tassel. Chief Ronald Leindecker told the Beaver County Times that a male relative mistook her for a skunk and fired a shotgun, hitting her in the shoulder, arm, back and neck Saturday night."

      October 22, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. Em

    How dare he even think to shoot a skunk! How do you not notice a child from a skunk! This person with the shot gun is a danger to the world! Maybe he did know that it was a child and he is a crazy person getting the thrill that he can use and excuse to get away with shooting a child.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  15. Penguin

    Perhaps there should be an intelligence test to determine whether one can own a gun. As dumb as our nation is, it would take guns away from 85% of cxurrent gun owners

    October 22, 2012 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • dojomommy

      I agree. And I'll go further; there should also be a test before you're allowed to have children.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Anna

      Agreed Penguin.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Travis Stindt

      @dojomommy I totally agree that an IQ test should be required to breed.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
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