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. revolting peasant

    Can't the NRA take a leadership role here. If you want to arm every idiot in the country, could you also provide outreach programs to teach these idiots how to be responsible? Maybe while you are at it, you can recruit them into your ranks and support other stupid policies.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DellStator

    I hunt, my family hunts, for generations, everyone in the valley does, and not ONCE in 3 generations around here did anyone shoot anyone else. We are raised around guns, taught to use them, and yes, we don't let everyone in our families use them, 'cause some people can't handle the responsibility. You DO NOT shoot in the dark. You do not shoot anywhere near people, a house, a garage, any structure, a road, or anyplace near where people might be, it's actually illegal to discharge a firearm, inc. hunting, within a couple of hundred feet of all the above in some states, and for good reason. This was a tragic "accident" caused by incompetence at best, abetted no doubt by lax laws, and YES WE NEED LAWS, laws and the government needed for them because there are a lot of people around who go and do stuff like this "accidentally".

    October 22, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Luz

      Well said. Well said.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. golfnut

    Uh, just how big are the skunks in Western Pennsylvania?

    October 22, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ille Cerasuolo

      LOL!!! My thoughts exactly...

      October 22, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. guy98

    Haha, got the airplane reference, but seriously, hope the little girl gets better.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • guy98

      Sorry, meant to reply to pevanB

      October 22, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mike

    Yes, people have a 2nd amendment right to own guns.. thats a given.. however anyone that mistakes a 9 year old for a skunk... really mistakes a kid for a SKUNK??? Shouldn't be allowed to have a gun.. or at least ammo.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Thugvon


    October 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Reason

    guns are awesome

    October 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DisgruntledGrrl

    Shoot him or charge him – who the hell takes a shotgun to a SKUNK?! Even you actually hit an actual skunk – that is one ruined party. One ruined backyard for at least a week.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. saimedia1

    ...Seriously? Like even if it was a skunk, why did the skunk deserve to die? I hope the little girl gets better. We all deserve our 2nd amendment rights, but for heavens sakes BE RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE!

    October 22, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Reason

    Im sure many people would be responsible with their RPG launchers, or their anti – aircraft missles – but why arent the gun nuts pushing for everyone to have them as well "as their American duty"? When the government comes to attack – they just may do it from the air.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. KeyWester

    If I was this moron who was out shooting things in the bushes when there were kids running around in costume, I would claim I was drunk, because the other option is that I'm really stupid.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. G

    Takes a special kind of stupid to think that randomly shooting an animal is an okay thing to do.

    I mean, really, what's the thought process here? See animal, shoot for the hell of it?

    October 22, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mar

    Has anyone made a Cheney joke yet?

    October 22, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Al from Hoboken

    It wasn't just the gun that shot this little girl. It's our asinine gun culture. And the gun. The right wingers are right, guns don't kill people, our gun culture kills people.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CP

    Ok seriously, this has nothing to do with gun control and everything to do with inbred idiot control.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
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