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. 2tor

    I'm all for murder on this one. People need to learn to quit shooting at things they can't see. If you aren't sure, don't shoot!

    October 22, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cin507

    Who shoots a gun at party where 2-3 dozen people are hanging around? What a tool.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tombstone

    Hillbilly edurmercashun,, shoot first, ask questions later.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dave

    NRA endowment member here, sadly there is no justification for this guys actions. He is as reckless as they come. The only difference between him and the mass murders we read about is the indifference to gun safety. I hope the girl can recover from this event.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blackflag

      Nice to hear from an NRA member who doesn't automatically support and defend the gun owner in every situation. America needs more people who are able to see both sides of the coin. Thank you.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dave

    A shotgun is a close range weapon. If he mistook her for a skunk he is either visually impaired or judgement impaired or both! However if shot at a distance the girl may very well be ok. Thank goodness he didnt hit his target with a high powered rifle bullet.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jim Ciha

    Another incident of senseless gun violence from the gun crazies. When will America wake up about guns? What a primitive society we live in!

    October 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimbo

      very primitive indeed, we try and blame everything on an inanimate object and forget that it is a person that makes these choices. Not only that but we try to judge people on situations that we know nothing about other than something happened.

      Lets ban guns (which have <5% mortality rate for being shot once) and get rid of this primitive society we live in and return to killing each other with our bare hands. A little insight for you, someone shot with one bullet lives ~95% of the time, someone who just had their windpipe crushed through a strike to the throat, or had their head bounced off concrete will die 95% of the time.

      Ok, now in all seriousness.... I wish we lived in a world that did not need weapons or even the knowledge of how to fight, but we do. And I can tell you right now taking away "weapons" will not stop the violence. It will not stop until everyone in the world starts to care more about other people than they do about themselves. In that day I will gladly be the first to "beat my sword in to a plowshare and my spear into a pruning hook"

      As for this story, it is a tragedy and never should have happened. There was a terrible misjudgment and a little girl is suffering because of it. And instead of saying how terrible it was and that people hope the little girl recovers quickly, people jump in to try and make it a political thing, and try to make it about their own agendas.

      I hope the family can have some peace after something like this, and that the little girl can recover fully and quickly.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corey

      guns dont kill ppl ppl kill ppl if you dont know gun safety then you are danger others like this guy its not the guns its the ppl

      October 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tonita

    Utter stupidity.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Big_D

    Can you spot the NRA member?

    October 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. pgibson

    so if it's a skunk, kill it ? what time of day was it ? after sundown ?
    I can't think of a good reason to kill a skunk during the evening of it's not bothering you.

    some just want to kill stuff.

    I live in the country, and the 'opossum and SKUNK are everywhere.
    but I've learned to co-exist and don't really have the urge to shoot them, unless they're out at daytime, and maybe rabid.

    otherwise, just leave 'em alone.

    but Cleatus thinks it's just "whot ya dew", in the wild.

    Kill anything that moves, right ?

    what a bunch of skerety cats.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kristi

    A perfect example of "you can't fix stupid". How in the heck can anyone mistake a 9 year old child with a skunk? Good grief. This person shouldn't be allowed to breed.....idiot.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • andres

      But it is likely he did breed already. What a knuckle head

      October 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jim

    This guy should be out killing the NRA skunks on K Street, not some innocent 9yo!

    October 22, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Wayne Dunn

    Rule #1: KNOW what you are aiming at - guessing is not allowed!
    Rule #2: If you can't answer rule #1, put the gun away and call it a day (or night!)

    A 12 gauge shotgun loaded with a 3" magnum 00-buckshot contains 15 pellets that can be lethal out to 100 yards. Of course at 100 yards the buckshot pattern would spread out to the size of a barn!

    Prayers for the little girl!

    October 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. j0eschm0e

    shouldnt have a gun at a party moron

    October 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Teri

    Sounds like somebody just wanted to show out in front of a group of people.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jim D

    Wow. They either have some might big skunks in Pennsylvania or this was one tiny 9 year old.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
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