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. capnmike

    There are LOADS of girls here in Virginia that could EASILY be mistaken for skunks....

    October 22, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • zufree2b

      He wasn't drunk he's Dick! Chenney the republican.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Warp7

    Let's see, a 9 year old girl taken for a skunk! How in the heck do you mistake someone the size of a 9 year old for a skunk!!!

    October 22, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    Children do not have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Somehow, gun owners do. Bravo 2nd Amendment!! Wow!!

    October 22, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mork

    See now, if ALL THOSE KIDS had guns, this might have been prevented. So the NRA would argue. Free guns for all citrizens. Its cowboy land.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Fred

    God Bless America! The stupid NRA will likely fund his defence if the idiot shooter gets charged. Better chance of getting the kid charged with loitering. Stupid.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Pinkflam

    Here's a guy that belongs just one place: in prison, for a long, long, time. The 2nd Amendment argument is total nonsequitur. The founders that wrote those amendments assumed that they were dealing only with people who have a grain of common sense. No one has to tolerate such irresponsible behavior in the name of freedom.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SnakepitDave

    I am pro gun but I also believe to own a gun legally you should have to go through years of rigorous training and education to do so. This paragraph in the article says it all " 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...". How can you fire on anything in the dark if you aren't 100% sure what your looking down the sights at?

    October 22, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • davel

      Agreed. I stated earlier today that this shooter broke the cardinal rule of shooting and that is ALWAYS know exactly WHAT you are shooting at !!! This individual "thought" he was shooting at a skunk but the sad truth is he really didn't know what he was shooting at. I'd hate to be a hunter in the same forest as this moron.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. eva

    This dummie pulls out a gun during a party with two or three dozen kids milling about in costumes??

    October 22, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. cp

    only in Pennsylvaina.....

    October 22, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brady

    I don't think we should be so quick to lay 100% of the blame old boy with the shotgun here. I guess it is possible to mistake a human being dressed in a skunk cosutume walking on two legs as a real skunk. Possibe but not very plausable. Some other observations about this shady scene weve here. One, did anyone here take time to check a calender, it's October 20th. It's not like this is the Wednesday before Halloween and you want to get an early start, it's more than a week away., so I guess this clan will start celebrating Thanksgiving somewhere around November 10. College frats don't start this early. Very wierd. Two, what the hell is a 9 year old little girl doing at an adult Halloween party and not only that adorned has a skunk...how precious. Is there some type of skunk fad going on with the kids these days..kinda like the hipster movement but the skunk movement? Is there some skunk pop culture reference I missed, like a viral video? I don't get it, seems a little demeaning. I can just see her parents,: "Oh look at our beautiful daughter, dressedas a skunk." And what about Rambo here who is just blasting the hillside at anything that could potentially be wildlife.not what you would call a hunter that discrminates. If it's moving he's apparently shooting. Also, why is a 9 year old little girl roaming the hillside in the middle in the night...especially when you have Buffalo Bill insdie hankering to kill him a varment. Very shady scene indeed.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • jd

      she wasn't dressed as a skunk. You misread the article. It just said she had a black outfit and black hat. She was MISTAKEN for a skunk. It didn't say what she was dressed as.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rich

    I can just here the interrupted banjo twangs when ole' Seth stood up with his shot gun and said, "I'm a gonna kill me that there varmint!"

    October 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jim Bob

    Many mulattoes can easily be mistaken for skunks, not only because of the white stripe but also the smell.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Keith

    Drinking or not, can we revoke a gun license for stupid?

    October 22, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Craig

    Wonder how many beers he had before he got his shotgun out

    October 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joe

    Never ever shoot at something you can't identify. Especially at night. If the dude was so worried this skunk was going to spray or attack someone why not go inside first....Dang people!

    October 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
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