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. Will

    IF IT'S BROWN IT'S DOWN. Every hunter's and policeman's creed.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DiedrichKyrian

    Hey all

    Just to throw it out there. The article did say he was NOT drinking;

    "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"

    So he was completely sober when he did this.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. fryuujin

    another hero of the NRA. guns keeping people dead since 1791.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sal

      Are you going to mention anything about how many more people are killed by cars every year than guns?

      October 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shepherd

      That's right, the gun hovered in mid air, aimed itself and pulled it's own trigger. You're right, the gun is to blame. Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • advocatusdiaboli

      Stop connecting the NRA with no proof: the NRA doesn't support shooting innocents, you don't know he was a member. You are just gun-grabbing liberal trash.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nas-D

      People kill people... Should we outlaw cars? Doctors? Pencils?

      October 22, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • JPMN

      The NRA doesn't care who gets killed as long as they keep selling more and more guns. They don't care if they are selling them to the mentally incompetent, the Mexican drug cartels, or to idiots like this guy. Every shooting means more sales to them.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • morgan painter

      You are a contriving, misinformation spreading dweeb.

      NO member of the NRA would condone this guys careless behavior wtih a firearm. He obviously did NOT make certain what his target was nor did he make certain there were no other objects or animals, or people nearby who could be harmed.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmericanZero

      So , if this dude shot her with a bow and arrow would you blame the arrow ?

      October 22, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. aktap

    Guns and any kind of party just don't mix, even in the sticks.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Wing

    None of you clowns live in the country. Skunks tear up land, ruin crops, and are known to cause quite a bit of damage. They are a nuisance for farmers and homeowners alike.
    With that said I am not defending the guy with the shotgun. He made a big mistake and will pay for it one way or another.

    In no way shape or form should this story start debates on gun control or gun policies.

    We already have laws that say its illegal to shoot people....guess what....they didn't work in this case.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • nwa

      And I take it that the skunks you are referring to grow to the size of a 9 year old girl.....wow them some mighty big skunks!

      October 22, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Commonsenseregs

      Sorry mr. skunk expert, but this particular speaks to the NRA's assertion that the more guns the merrier.
      I have stupid friends, stupid family members, stupid employees that shouldn't be able to get thier hands on a pea-shooter let alone a deadly weapon. Any moron who can't discern a skunk from a child shouldn't have access to that weapon. Disagree? Because if you do then you are part of the problem.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • oldesalt

      Although I have seen many skunks in my 69 years of life, I've never seen one as big as a nine year old girl. I thought rural dwellers were in tune with nature.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. etabeta

    Trigger-happy U.S.A.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rudedog

    Took a concealed wepons class. DANG!!!! Half those ppl should NOT get a permit cuz they are trigger happy yahoos.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • oldesalt

      Anyone can take a concealed weapon class but the authorities, i.e. chiefs of police, etc, will make the final decision as to whether or not a permit will be issued.

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

    Was the relative Blind also?
    I live where there are a lot of skunks and I have never seen one larger than a fat house cat..~!

    October 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mlg4035

    Guns don't kill people – STUPID PEOPLE WITH GUNS kill people...

    October 22, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. trent1280

    Another victory for the NRA and its policy of "all guns, all the time".

    That policy, which has been in place for over 50 years, has made the USA the safest nation on earth.

    Clearly, the girl mistaken for a skunk should have shot back. More guns, that's the only possible answer. More guns for everybody.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • advocatusdiaboli

      NO, but you are a case of another zealot gun grabber looking for any opportunity to blame the NRA. BTW, John Kerry and many Demos are NRA members, You might learn more before spouting off in your ignorance.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Commonsenseregs

      This is a new market for the NRA!! Since they want everyone to be armed and I know some people that are definitely not as smart as this one skunk that has learned to take the lids off my trashcans and then put them back (almost), maybe they should sell guns to skunks? Or squirrels. Give them a fighting chance.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. R

    I'm sure the shooter feels bad. and yes, I'm sure skunks are a nuisance in the country but ..... what is he doing firing a gun during a children's party.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • advocatusdiaboli

      More importantly, where where her parents?

      October 22, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dick Cannon

    The shooter wasn't drunk. Were his pupils the size of nickels after several days of tweeking when he saw that 4 foot tall skunk?

    October 22, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. lolp

    why shoot a skunk? This is good example of a gun in the hands of a whacko nut.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Talha

    Why would anybody shoot a skunk even if it was a skunk.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. larry5

    I thought of of the the firsts rules in shooting a gun was to identify your target. This shooting is just more proof that you can't fix stupid.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
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