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. Pee Wee Morris

    He thought a 9 year old was a skunk? I didn't know skunks got that large. This guy must be a moron.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. nottolate

    Why would you shoot at a harmless skunk anyway?

    October 22, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. eroteme

    The shooter should be given a mental examination.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • ghost

      gun nuts, guns with nuts attached to them , nuts with guns attached to them
      put the fool in jail for 3 years for reckess endangerment

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

    One time I read a story where a woman was shout out of a tree many years ago . She was wearing a fur coat and the hunter said he thought he saw a deer in the tree ! If you can not see exactly what you are shooting at the old rule goes . Do not shoot ! And deer do not climb trees ! And a skunk is not the size of a teenager .

    October 22, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • me

      she was 9, not a teenage. and crouching in the position of a skunk, according to the article. and it was a distance away so she could have been mistaken

      October 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Memyfriend

      we have become a nation of, "There it is, quick get my gun and shoot it." Why are we shooting everything that we see?
      What is wrong with you people?

      October 22, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Yes, she could have been mistaken...by a trigger happy idiot who decides it's best to shoot instead of check first.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jennifer

    REALLY!!!! Oh look it's a giant skunk...let's shoot it???

    October 22, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jack Be Humble

    People who have been drinking are less smart than those who stay sober. I recommend that every party have a designated shooter. My thoughts and prayers are with the girl and every member of the family, including the guy with the shotgun.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rick

    So, the guy is just hanging around outside a party with a shotgun in his hand...

    October 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Qman

    I agree with the comments below... but why would some one want to shoot a skunk anyways? Is he that in love with the way it smells?

    It smells bad enough when we run one over... but to shoot it.. who knows.

    And if we factor in the size difference? ... I don't think an IQ test is needed for this person. He already failed it miserably.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. andrea

    i wish then 20 skunks would have come & sprayed him.
    i hope she survives & is able to have a normal life.
    gun control??

    October 22, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Juan

    And the right to bear arms shall not be infringed

    October 22, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      ...unless you're mentally unfit to bear them, then they'll infringe the heck out of that right. And justifiably so in this idiot's case.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      TECHNICALLY, the second amendment does NOT give people the absolute right to "keep and bear arms". There is the qualifying statement at the beginning of this amendment that many people, including lawyers, seem to ignore. The complete text is:

      A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

      Many people ignore everything up to the word "State", which is what qualifies the remaining text. Since, at the time this was written, it was the common man who was the militia which defended the fledgling country during the Revolutionary War, it was clearly the intent of the Founders that it was necessary to insure any future conflicts would be fought similarly. They did not forsee the modern military we have today. The "common man" is no longer the "well regulated militia" referenced in the text of the second amendment, therefore AS A WHOLE this amendment no longer applies, TECHNICALLY.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. nate

    it's too hot for a penguin (or skunk) just to be walking around!

    October 22, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeny Chacko

    seriously?? he see's a skunk and decides to shoot??

    October 22, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Don't Like Darkies

    hahahahahahahahahahhah this is the best thing i have ever read...but in all seriousness I hope she dies.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • NSTRez

      You hope a 9 year old girl dies? WOW....

      October 22, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jen

    A skunk vs. a child. Boy, that's a rough one! You don't shoot guns during a party, rural or not. And not with children around. Poor kid. Hope she survives and gets a restraining order against her moron relative. Never know when he might see some other furry little creature he feels the need to blow away.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mitch

    Who the heck shoots skunks anyway? That's not exactly the most pleasant carcass to either dispose of or leave laying around.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
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