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. food

    1. It's dark out
    2. There are kids around
    3. He couldn't identify what he is aiming at (I am guessing here, remember its dark out)
    4. SHOOT!!!

    Yep, sounds like another smart gun owner.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. allen

    dumb question, but what wrong with using mouse trap, the kind that use for big rat or mouse. There are hundred way of doing away with pest like this, but using a shotgun gun, even if you kill the skunk, it will cause more damage to your house property than the skunk

    October 22, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Em

    Stupid, stupid, just plain stupid. Please take away his gun permit.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Flippity Flop

    Hilarious when legal gun owners kill or maim their own relatives with guns. A few weeks ago another guy shot his son at the neighbor's house. As long as they keep killing their own family it's all good! Lub 'dat Second Amendment!

    October 22, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slats

      What a well thought out reply. Moron

      October 22, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • TVannie

      I don't find anything funny about shooting accidents especially involving an innocent child. I bet you'll really yuck it up if she dies. Compassion, prayer and understanding are obviously not your strong suits.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kirbydog

    Everyone defending the NRA needs to take a deep breath and think before they type. I hear you loud and clear. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. It's a tired argument. Well intentioned people kill innocent people with guns by mistake all of the time. Comparing guns to cars is also stupid. Cars serve an irreplaceable purpose in society and are not designed with the express purpose of causing harm. The fact is there will always be some inherent risk in living. We don't need to add to it by allowing any yahoo to own a gun. Many people live very happy lives without a gun. Try doing the same without a car in most areas. Guns don't kill people, stupid people with guns kill people.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • touche

      Really?? Who feels the need to kill a skunk? Who can't tell, even at a distance, the size difference between a 9 year od human being, and a slightly- larger -than- a- rat animal?? Idiots with guns kill people. Still not the fault of the gun.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rev. Christie Bliss. Ley

    Prime example of someone who should not own a gun. # 1 rule: If your not close enough to see clearly what you are shooting at, don't pull that trigger..

    October 22, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Stephen Evans

    Well. Another genius with a gun. He didn't even have the excuse that he was drunk. What size brain does it take to shoot something when you can't determine what is is you are shooting? Apparently a pretty small one – just the right size to go out and buy a shotgun. In America if you are irritated by your wife – go get your gun and shoot her and those who happen to be around her. Ticked off at your landlord? Shoot him and his kids and his wife. That's the beauty of America – we all have our 2nd Amendment rights no matter how unfit we are otherwise.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slats

      You 1st amendment right is just as inviolate as the second.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I wonder if the genius with a gun has any better skills at reading comprehension than you do.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John Cleary

    Yup, that sounds about right.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dave

    Are you freaking serious. This is redneck at its worst. Yes, He should be charged with extreme and unimaginable stupity.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Panties

    On a related subject, how long does it take to grill one mama skunk and 4 baby skunks?

    October 22, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yo MAMA

      That is an interesting question. I want to know the answer so I can start grilling skunks. Does anyone know the answer?

      October 22, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Corey

    Really in Pennsylvania? I would have expected Alabama or Mississippi.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. NoTags

    I am a gun owner and believe that most people (excluding convicted felons, mentally incompetent, etc.) should have the right to own guns; however to mistake a child in a costume for a skunk is beyond belief.

    This gentlemen should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and never allowed again to even be near a weapon.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slats

      Appreciate your reply. Unlike others you recognize the issue for what is.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Magen

    Dude shouldn't be shooting skunks anyways. Party Foul.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    As a responsible gun owner, I have to say this guy is a dunce and a bonehead to fire a gun close to a kid's Halloween party. Thank God he didn't kill the poor kid. I wish the young lady a speedy and full recovery. Like one of the rules of safe firearm use says, "be certain of your target before you shoot." Throw the book at this guy.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bushney

    Because you know... at a kids halloween party, I am just going to shoot anything that moves in the shadows. They can pry my gun from my cold dead hands. jk

    October 22, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
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