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.

Post by:
Filed under: Halloween • Pennsylvania • U.S.
soundoff (1,550 Responses)
  1. Greenaxe

    "Pennsylvania, the other Florida"!

    October 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Keyser

    "HONEY!!??!!...we're having a party with kids in costumes so go outside and see if there is anything to shoot at"...."thanks baby, you're a sweetie"

    October 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. juice

    Even if it's a skunk. Why in the world would he shoot an animal? Was the skunk threatening in some way?

    October 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • NudeTruth

      go cuddle one and find out. lol

      October 22, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kianasmum

      That's pretty pathetic. Unless the girl was crawling on all fours, this "hunter" is an idiot. If she was too far to see, it was too far for the skunk to spray him.

      October 22, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Greenaxe

    "I thought it was a skunk in a little mermaid costume".

    October 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Keep Fear Alive

    well, I hate to say it/... but everytime I hear of a Yahoo Gun Owner... that just ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY HAs to Fire His Gun in some stray direction to kill whatever it is they percieve to be the new target of their god-Given Gun, and it turns out they shoot yet another innocent member of their family... a small but distinct smile erupts on my face ... and now this guy can tumble sleepless nights for the next decade ... for ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY needing to fire his gun off in some Stray direction ... and so my smile creeps into existence ...

    October 22, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dave

    What kind of "white trash" pulls a shotgun out to kill a skunk?

    October 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      A shotgun is not a bad choice. .22lr probably a better one though.

      October 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Q

      What kind of guy pulls out a shotgun at a kids Halloween party?

      October 22, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Are you serious?!

      The kind that can't hit the broad side of a barn with a rifle. No point in using shotgun to hit a target that's not moving – zero challenge. Now while I'm all for gun rights, I do agree with another poster who said "do you have to shoot at everything because you can?" What's wrong with firing a warning shot to scare it or just making some noise? If you're far enough away it won't spray you, and if it gets close you can still always shoot it, BUT if it says "Hi Uncle Jack" you then know you just avoided doing something REALLY dumb ...

      October 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Herb

    Tom,Tom the idiots son.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ironfray

    Complete idiots!

    October 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. adam

    something stinks

    October 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Fritz

    The NRA-national redneck association–can say all they want but guns have no place in a civilized society.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      That's your opinion. I am not an NRA member, but I believe guns do have a place in a civilized society.

      A civilized society won't be civilized for very long if there are food/water supply problems for more than a week or 2. Don't believe me. Look to none other the NOLA within a day after Katrina. Lawlessness was rampant.

      October 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ann

    The shooter needs to be charged. Where are the pro gun safety peeps. They will usually say you need to determine your target before shooting. So he is in the wrong.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bch

    A child has been severely injured due to this man's lack of judgement (or stupidity!). This was not an accident!

    Two three dozen guests (several possibly children) milling around and someone shoots at something unidentified in the dark.

    I am sure this person probably feels just terrible about this!!!! Regardless, this person should be charged and held accountable for this herendous act of negligence. Hopefully this person will never find another moment of peace.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Erica

    Skunks are vicious and are known to attack wolves and even bears. There have been many recorded incidences of rabid skunks even taking down a mountain lion. Skunks are not to be trifled with.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • bdgfn

      Seriously? From a distance so far he was unable to positively identify his target? Get real.

      October 22, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • shrinktofit

      I've trifled with skunks many times, not one problem. Rabid skunks are a different issue. However, one should use a moment or two to ascertain whether one is actually looking at a skunk, and then another moment to learn if the skunk is rabid.

      October 22, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Are you serious?!

      A shotgun will take down a rabid charging skunk – it is not needed to fend off scared little girls. The idiot acted without information, they make no mention of the girl having a white stripe – sounds like she had a witches costume – how do you mistake that for a skunk? This is very sad, and I hope the girl will be okay.

      October 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Veronica

    Question – how small is this girl and how big are the skunks in PA?

    October 22, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • bdgfn

      How big? Well, if the Sandusky trial is any indication, they're huge!

      October 22, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Better question. Can you read? Can you reason?

      It was dark, the kid was wearing black and there were bushes. I stands to reason that a 65lb girl well camouflaged with clothing, bushes and lack of light could have been mistaken for a 9 lb animal. The shooter should have never fired his gun either.

      October 22, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mike

    So, In that part of Pennsylvania are they rednecks or hillbillies ??

    October 22, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54