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. Guest

    Must have some mighty big skunks in PA to mistake a 9 year old for one.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. stony52

    Wow!... Only in America. How drunk was the shooter when a 9 yr old in costume would be much bigger than a skunk.
    The real question is why does the idiot feel the need to shoot at a skunk anyways. Are Americans evolving in reverse?

    October 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      Didn't read the last line of the story?

      October 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • stony52

      yeah.. I missed the last line of the story. Not the real point here, is it. I'll let you get back to picking the nits out of your hair.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jam108

    Yeah, let's eliminate the ban on assault weapons so more trigger-happy idiots like this one can shoot even more children.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • sassyjames

      A shotgun is not an assault weapon. The funny part (if there is one) is that even if this clown is fined, he will get his permit back.

      October 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lol-69

    Jethro! Look at the size of that skunk! It’s as big as a 9 year old! Shoot it!

    October 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • ssmon

      I should not be laughing at this comment but i am as that is probably what happened word for word!

      October 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JohnK

    What kind of an IDIOT confuses a 9 year old child with a skunk, the biggest of which only weigh about 15 pounds or so. Even a skunk would have more brains than this cretin.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clark Nova

      If you've been to PA the answer is obvious, Outside of Philly & Pittsburgh it's all Alabama. Inbred to perfection.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kathy, nj

    Why don't we have laws against stupidity? Perhaps this mountain man was shooting for his dinner?! He's an idiot and more. He best get on his knees and pray for that little girl's health and long life.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Janine

    First of all, why is this person shooting skunks? I am so confused. Second of all, who goes and gets his gun to commit such violence in the middle of a party with 2 – 3 dozen guests? At the very least, it sounds like this upstanding individual might need to spend some time behind bars to learn a lesson or two about safety.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. west coaster

    the shooter must of gotten so excited to see a 50lb skunk run by, just couldn't resist shootin' the dang varmit even with a bunch of sceaming kids in the yard, damn that one would look so good hangin' over the fireplace. I might even get my pitcher in the newspaper for getting the worlds biggest skunk. hot damn I'll be famous...might even get a guest spot on that thar wildman show, I could help him catch a few more varmits. goooooooooolllllllyyyyyyy Gomer!

    and he wasn't even drinking, so no excuse except pure 100% stupidity. How do we keep guns out of the hands of the stupid, we have enough trouble keeping them out of the hands of the psycho nutjobs.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Not an NRA member

    Everyone likes to throw gun control out there when something like this happens. The only people who would adhere to that law would be the ones who OBEY the law to start with. You think mr. Random felon who can still get a gun now even though its illegal for them is going to say, "oops guns are illegal now better turn mine in."? Hardly. Gun safety courses should be mandatory to own one period in my opinion. This guy should be jailed for what he did. I hope that little girl is ok. No one should have to go through that.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flicker man

      NRA enabler of domestic terrorism.

      October 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bregs

    How sad. Pull through little one, I'm praying for you... Something doesn't add up right, though. You NEVER pull the trigger unless you're 100% sure!

    October 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Honest Citizen

    It saddens me how those people posting their ignorance about any given subject can do so without ever checking a single fact using the same computer they are using for the post before embarrassing themselves in print, only to turn around a couple weeks later and be allowed to cast a vote for the leadership of the most powerful nation on earth. speaks a volumns about the sorry state of affairs we are in, doesn't it.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • NSTRez


      October 22, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jim

    Seems like the Clampett's are slive and well in Western PA!

    October 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. amanda

    stupid rednecks, that guy belongs here in TX with these morons. I'm a gun owner and I have never mistake a 40 lbs child for a skunk...I love the "drinking wasn't involved"....yeah, only because cousin Jimmy is the sheriff.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. twinnie

    I didn't know people (in this case a not-too-bright person) shot skunks. Poor little girl (and her family).

    October 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Just the facts maam

    Wow. That stinks.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
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