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. Jimijoni

    But officer, you should have seen the size of the one that got away....
    Sorry.
    What a moron. I hope the little girl has a full recovery, throw the redneck in jail.

    October 23, 2012 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. AK

    "A relative spotted the dark figure in the distance, mistook it for a skunk and fired his shotgun... 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."

    Contradictory much...?

    October 23, 2012 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Raider

      Huh? Where is the contradiction?

      October 23, 2012 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • VedX

      I haphazard a guessthat 'Raider' will be voting Romney 😉

      October 23, 2012 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
    • hasenstein

      There is no contradiction. You missed the important word "how" – they did not question IF he was related (in which case the contradiction would have been the word "relative" in the first sentence).

      October 23, 2012 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ton Def

    I believe the right to bear arms was given to us with the idea that "with freedom comes responsibility". In regards to gun ownership, so many Americans seem drunk on freedom, and unable or unwilling to accept the personal responsibility that goes along with it. I don't think it would infringe on anyone's rights, to require new gun owners to take some kind of educational course on the basics of gun safety and responsibility. Gun advocates say "guns don't kill people, people kill people". OK, then let's prioritize safe and responsible ownership. It might make a difference.

    October 23, 2012 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. mmi16

    Alcahol & Firearms – Enough said.

    October 23, 2012 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Raider

      But not enough read apparently.

      October 23, 2012 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. AGrey

    I don't think it says much of this guy that he wasn't drinking. A shot gun is not a BB gun. You don't just go shooting things unless you are sure of what you're shooting. And it's generally poor judgement to have a loaded shotgun out around 2 dozen party goers.

    October 23, 2012 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rev. Herb

    Maybe she consider taking a bath at least every two months.

    October 23, 2012 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. groo

    I support gun ownership 100%, however – shooting (what he thought was) an animal, skunk or not for no reason is just plain STUPID. This is one of those people that really shouldn't own a gun, or at least be made to go to school for firearm safety. Never shoot in the dark, never shoot near where other people live or might be, unless you know 100% that you are defending your house from a real intruder and not some animal you might think is a bother. If you have a nuisance animal living on or near your property they have animal relocation services for that. Show nature some respect please.

    October 23, 2012 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. The Doug

    Charge him. It takes extreme negligence to mistake a person for a skunk. This person was not thinking before he shot. Wouldn't surprise me if alcohol was involved.

    October 23, 2012 at 3:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. just-a-guy

    I suppose that we as a society are willing to sacrafice little girls so that a paranoid few can "protect" themselves with their precious guns. This incident underscores the fact that too many gun-owners are trigger happy. They don't own guns because they are afraid that someone will break into their house; they own guns because they hope someone will break into their house.

    October 23, 2012 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. mantan

    Pssst... Rumors are swirling that he told girl to go play in the bushes.

    This is just another legal way to kill your kids... Just like in Florida if you for to take your kids out of the car when it is hot outside. The child dies...That is OK in Florida it is just an accident...

    October 23, 2012 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. Geoff

    This, Wayne LaPierre, is why we need gun laws. You should be held accountable for demanding that idiots such as the one described in this article have access to arms! You should be tried for attempted murder, Mr. LaPierre. You are a disgusting piece of human debris. And so are the people who belong to the NRA who support allowing this kind of senseless violence to happen over and over again!

    October 23, 2012 at 4:14 am | Report abuse |
  12. Ash

    No gun laws... the gun crowd kills itself...... Go NRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 23, 2012 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |
  13. Neverson

    It was such a sad story for the little girl

    October 23, 2012 at 5:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. Thomas

    How in hell do you not realize the size difference here?!

    October 23, 2012 at 5:34 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ochre crimson

    What a brainless, impulsive barbarian! Do you know how many skunks I see that simply wander by and don't bother anyone? The first problem is that he assumed a skunk was important enough to pull out a shot gun for ( unless he was planning on eating it I suppose). The second problem is he had a shot gun around a children's party? The third problem is....shouldn't you make certain sure what it is you are shooting at, in the dark, around children? This is the kind of idiot that some people will react to by pushing a law that banns kids costumes in public.

    Dear little girl.....I have a boy almost your age.....I pray for your recovery of your body and your spirit. I pray this memory will not haunt you or crush your ability to trust in people. I pray you will be enjoying the fun of many many more parties and celebrations in your life. God grant this girl and her family your peace and protection....and keep my heart and all our hearts on the side of light so we will not allow this man's actions to fester our hearts in rage and fear. Please bring the justice and guidance that he deserves by YOUR will and not by any individual's hand, as you are a God of forgiveness AND justice. In Jesus, name I pray, Amen.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Dod

      Do we thank the Lord that that little girl was there to take the heat for all the real skunks in the area, or do we thank the Lord for not blessing the idiot with the gun better aim.......or......

      October 23, 2012 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
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