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. Jay

    Almost no way to describe how stupid this accident is! The shooter should no longer be able to bear arms of any kind, not even knives in the kitchen!! I say this not to be amusing in any way – this guy is not only without common sense but a DANGER to us all.

    October 23, 2012 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. dasea

    I would shoot him, and not allow this story to be printed. Then crack down on firearms in that county. Yet, I wouldn't spend more than $40,000 of Federal money to investigate, send letters, intimidate, and enforce. $40,000 the value of a white 9 year old girl child. If she was black I would run the story, but only with photographs of the shooter. And put him in jail, and work with local police to put his male neighbors who are black in jail.

    October 23, 2012 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
    • dasea

      If they were Mexican I would chop of the sherrifs head and roll it into the middle of his bed next to a dead skunk.

      October 23, 2012 at 6:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. jed

    Exactly why you don't go hiking during hunting season.

    October 23, 2012 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
    • GT58

      Was not during legal hunting time. Not allowed to hunt after sunset. Also in PA its not legal to shoot skunks – there is a trap season.

      October 23, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Kryg

    If the relative did not have a gun, the girl would not have been shot. Ban guns.

    October 23, 2012 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
    • #stupidhurts

      why should guns be banned because someone does something stupid. if you use the same logic everything we use on a daily basis could be banned. people kill people every day because of cell phone abuse driving cars, so ban cell phones and cars.

      October 23, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. oldman100

    Only an inbred idi0t could be so stupid and/or inebriated to mistake a 9 year old kid for a small woodland animal, no matter how dark out it is.

    October 23, 2012 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Exactly! He can't tell a 4 or 5 pound skunk from a 50 or so pound child and yet he breaths the same air as we do...................

      October 23, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. geeworker

    quit posting lies the NRA will not nor will it ever endorse anyone who uses a firearm in an unsafe manner. Other then justified defense name one time the NRA has supported or endorsed anyone after they used used a weapon on another person

    October 23, 2012 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jeb

    You don't shoot what you can't positively identify. The moron needs his gun permit revoked, permanently!!!!!

    October 23, 2012 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. unowhoitsme

    Why would you use a gun at a party with a lot of people around? That's stupidity.

    I hope this little girl pulls through.

    October 23, 2012 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. deb

    Just how big are the skunks in that area? Geesh....

    October 23, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  10. RobDex

    I'm not defending the killing of animals (I love them), but sadly most of the time skunks come near humans it's because the have rabies.

    My grandfather shot a skunk out at their farm once when I was little, I never understood why. It did indeed have rabies, and would have most likely attacked the first thing it saw (pet dog, human, etc).

    October 23, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. 2tired2care

    So in the middle of a party with kids running all over he decides to discharge a firearm. Brilliant, just brilliant.

    October 23, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. Raymond

    Children dressed in costumes after dark, playing hide and go seek and you take out your shotgun to shoot a skunk?! He should have his head examined!

    October 23, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. Raymond

    Children dressed in costume...after dark...running around, playing hide and seek. Hill billy is the only logical explanation!

    October 23, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mbele Simba Maboto

    Either the girl was very small or that was on big skunk the size of a Cheetah. How thick can you get shooting if you don't really know what it is. Is low IQ predominant in that region? If so, perhaps they should be prevented from reproducing and voting...

    October 23, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mbele Simba Maboto

    Give a gun to a stupid man and you get this sort of thing. Stupid as an Hyena...

    October 23, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
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