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. Kelly51

    Really? They have skunks that big in PA? What an idiot to shoot anything when a party is going on. I didn't get a good look but I saw black and white and just shot? Not once, not twice, but three times he hit his target. How disgusting. I hope he never has the privledge of owning another weapon. Evidentally this mans eye sight is off.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. jms4177


    October 22, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. Em

    Lock up the person that shot the child! What are they waiting for? They know whom is the shooter!

    October 22, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. sumday

    If he had not been drinking then he was stupid and reckless. First never fire a gun unless you are 100% sure of what you are shooting at, and second a skunk is the size of a cat so it's pretty friggin hard to mistake something the size of a 9yr old for a skunk- just my thoughts.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
    • GAW

      As I stated before they should give a IQ and vision test to all gun owners.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. siculari

    Low life. You see a skunk, and you shot. With children around. And it's dark. Dumb people should not handle any type of weapon.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      You shoot not shot .You are also dumb

      October 22, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • todd

      no people should have any type of weapon in civilian life. The gun nuts love to show off their weapons, but the second someone does something stupid, the distance themselves. This guy is just a rational minded responsible gun lover like one of you !

      October 22, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jay

    Even if this back woods moron really DID think she was a skunk, WHY would he shoot? It would stink up the whole neighborhood! What a fool!

    October 22, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. Badly-Bent

    You shoot a skunk:
    A. For the meat
    B. For the fur
    C. For target practice
    D. To get rid of the smell

    I guess skunk is not on the protected species list?

    October 22, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • mel

      Actually, shooting a skunk will create the smell that one seeks to avoid. Skunks don't spray unless they feel threatened and don't exactly go around spraying everything in sight. Most of the time, if you come in contact with a skunk and stay calm, they will walk away. In fact, skunks are great at keeping all the pest under control that people don't want in their houses and that is what they eat.

      Regardless, discharging a gun to shoot a skunk at children's party it the top of the idiot list.

      October 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. War Eagle

    Sounds like a Dick Cheney Halloween party.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. crabman

    hey has anyone seen my kid ya that the one dressed like a skunk

    October 22, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. nbgb

    Ex vice president Dick Cheney shot a secret service agent while on a hunting expedition. Too many stupid people with guns.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack 63

      One thing for sure. There are more stupid people with keyboards than there are with guns.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. Otto

    If the girl had a gun to defend herself this wouldn't have happened.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're an idiot.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      This comment IS NOT stupid. People who own guns say "I own a gun to protect myself and family from other people with guns." That is all I ever hear people who defend guns say, and according to those peoples statements, if this little 9yo girl had had a gun, should wound be in the hospital fighting for her life.

      I'm not going to end with a juvenile statement, but I am going to end with THIS! You call this person's comment stupid, but you go find that little girl and her family and ask them what they think about gun control, and tell THEM you think such a comment is stupid.

      It's not people like me that people like you have to answer to. It's people like this girls family that have to suffer from the inadequate gun control laws in this country. Don't you people read and watch the news? Can't you see that firearms aren't used for protection anymore. They are simply pretty shinny deadly hunks of metal that people buy to put on a shelf to look at, and can't wait to use them, so they fire on anything that intrudes on their territory... Not because they should, but simply because the government allows it! It's their right to foolishly kill one another.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • todd

      but how about the 80 million other gun nuts, who loves them guns, and don't shoot anyone with them ? Heck, we can just ignore the lives lost due to gun violence because hey, these people weren't related to us, so all is well in the world !!

      October 22, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • svann


      October 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • mlg4035

      Yes! ALL of the kids at the party should have had guns!
      After all: The MORE GUNS you have around, the SAFER you are, right?!
      That's what the NRA's argument always seems to be...

      October 22, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Johnv

    Who is stupid enough to be firing a gun anywhere for any reason around a kids party? Senseless!!!

    October 22, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Bullchit

      who's stupid enough to be shooting at a skunk?

      October 22, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Both good points.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. imran Khan

    He must be with his GF to impressed. How smart I am.... Come on don't just shoot anywhere. And you don't til your life in danger.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. Kevin

    This is something you would see in an Elmer Fudd/Daffy Duck/Bugs episode of Looney Tunes. Can't believe it actually happened....

    October 22, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  15. Name*Chris

    Oh no, we don't need tighter gun control in our nation at all! Let's just allow the people who insist that's it's their right to carry around a weapon. They can't find enough criminals to kill, so the stupid idiots just fire on anything that's moves.

    I am sick and tired of hearing stories like this all the time on the news, something HAS to be done. It's obvious these people can't police themselves. Stupidity and guns go together like stink on a skunk.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Humbug

      Exactly! This almost sounds like a Florida or Texas story, LOL!

      October 22, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It was at a home idiot. No one was carrying around a gun. The fact you use the term ‘these people’ shows an uneducated biased. Combined with your lack of reading comprehension a seriously suggest you revaluate you stereotyping.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      ToTom Tom.. Dude I'm educated in the fact this is the 12th time this year something like this has been in the national news. I dont need anymore proof than that to see that gun control is out of control in this country.

      People will kill people out of malice regardless of whatever weapon is available. Guns dont kill people.. people kill people. But it's guns that do the most damage when misused by people. Guns were invented for one purpose (to kill), and they do that well... to well.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Canada

      You're right Chris. 100% , I ever wonder if people who advocate for guns have ever watched bowling for Columbine.
      my country is in that movie. and we're iin it for a reason. GUN CONTROL. There are 2 types of people in Canada that have guns. Cops, and thugs. (it sounds like a big generalization) but unless you're an avid hunter, there is no need to have one. Do I worry about being mugged? you betcha, but if I have a weapon in my house, the possibility of tragedy exponentially increases. it's like a nuclear bomb, great deterrent, but bad for the world. I see America market guns like their marketting a new toothpaste. and that is a problem.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
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