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. Huh?

    Ahhh – another 'gun owner' who proves why most people shouldn't own guns.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ArthurP

    Only in America. The only country in the world where its citizens define themselves via the ownership of a device that is designed to kill.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • kewl

      Cigarettes?

      October 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. curious

    man alive, this article isn't even 200 words and it seems like half the posters didn't even read it. The guy was obviously a moron, but it says the girl was hiding over a hill and she was shot in the head and neck. Thus her head was the only thing visible and about the size of a skunk.

    I'm glad all of these posters are not armed and at the parties I go to, they seem just as stupid as this guy.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lando

      It says the neck, back, and arm.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • ReenB

      She was shot in the neck, back, and arm, and was hiding "on the edge" of a hill. We don't know how much of her was visible. I hope she pulls through okay...

      October 22, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ArthurP

    And at the inquest they will end up blaming the 9 year old girl because she did not have orange florescent stripes on her costume.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. GAW

    An IQ and vision test should be given to all potential gun owners.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • curious

      yes. yes. yes. yes. and I'll say it again, yes.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • commonsensical

      Pretty clear that an IQ test would eliminate gun ownership by 95% of NRA members – probably a good idea. I have guns, Im not in the NRA, and I dont bring guns to Halloween parties or shoot at anything that 'looks' like it might be something without verifying what I am shooting at AND what is behind it or between myself and it.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. G Man

    When was the last time you saw a skunk walk on two legs. Wait, did I just describe a politician? This moron was looking for an excuse to see what it was like to shoot a human and get away with it. His behavor is at a minimum reckless up to and including an endangerment to the human race. He needs to be on the presidental ticket so other morons can vote for him.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jfairweather

    You have to pass written and practical tests to get a driver's license.

    To get a license for a lethal weapon you have to prove that you were born and that you don't have a criminal record.

    My dog could qualify for a license (nowhere does the license indicate the species). The first test would be a bit tougher.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Peter

    Wow, I had no idea that skunks can grow that big in Pennsylvania. The shooter may have not been drinking, but he must have consumed some hallucinating drugs. What an idiot!!!!! and he should go to jail for this.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jim

    Because it was absolutely imperative that he kill that skunk at that moment, even though it was clearly too dark for him to determine for certain that it was a skunk. As we all know, firing guns when little kids are having a party is a fine idea.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. yahubetcha

    Is there a shoot on sight order in Pennsylvania for skunks?

    October 22, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. augie gallegos

    I swear..there are some trigger happy people out there. Any excuse to shoot something without thinking or making sure as to what you're shooting at...inexcusable!

    October 22, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DM

    Why was he so ready with a shotgun? Sounds like he was fighting for his life having to fend off the crazy skunks.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Paul

    Yes charge the shooter with STUPIDITY for firing at something he could not quite identify. It could have been anything in the dark! Sadly it turned out to eb a little girl. Prayers for her healing!

    October 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Murderfish

    Heck of a lot of shootings lately.... heck of a lot. So, instead of talking about binders full of women and Big Bird, how about the darn canadates address the very real issue of gun control, And while they are at it, they can define to us when the "war on terror" will end.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dike

    Why even shoot a skunk? just because you have a gun?. people are sick.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
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