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. Humbug

    What a wonderful addition to the nonsense that has become America's second most expensive holiday...Halloween! Stupidity to shoot a skunk anyway as the whole place will smell badly for a long time! Guns at night?? This is a mashup of ignorance and a "holiday" that's an excuse to behave irresponsibly.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • dragonfire77

      Now, now. Halloween is a fun holiday that is one of my personal favorites. I do, however, agree to the maximum possible degree. Any responsible hunter is ALWAYS taught from the EARLIEST possible point: "KNOW YOUR TARGET AND CHECK YOUR BACKSTOP"!!!!!
      Shooting at something you think is out there in the middle of the night at a kids' party at Halloween??? This guy is a true tea partier. More guns make us safer? Hardly.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. foxfire

    Very srupid...obvious this guy should not own a gun. Someone with such poor judgement.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. mhub

    It would have been stupid to shoot a skunk anyway – it would have stunk the place up big time. What an idiot – pulling a shotgun out – at night – to shoot a skunk.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. CK

    Really? How big are the skunks in PA? And three shots? I can't believe anyone could be this stupid. Hope the little girl pulls through.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. gregg

    Aways identify what you shoot at before you shoot. The Gun isn't dangerous, the ignorant MORON pulling the trigger is!!!!

    October 22, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. Amy

    Anyone who has ever ever ever taken a basic hunter/gun safety course knows you never shoot at anything unless you are 100% positive you can identify what you are shooting at. This is a prime example of a careless gun owner. If you aren't sure of what you are shooting at never fire the weapon. What an idiot to be shooting at anything while attending a costume party full of kids!

    October 22, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. D.I.

    This is why it is against the law to fire a gun in a residential area. And a shotgun to kill a skunk? Means that the guy must be old and can't shoot. I can take an air pellet rifle or a 22 and kill small vermin easy (or certain large mamals). Actually, I keep on to kill squirrells and rodents- to protect the chickens and their feed. Yes, there is a much more powerful gun in the house- shot guns, rifles, and hand guns- but they are way too excessive, and I want to know what I hit; and that includes what is behind the target.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  8. crystals9

    Yeah, he hadn't been drinking. Did they do a blood alcohol? There was a football player at our daugther's high school who died after sailing his car off a winding road. The first reports said he hadn't been drinking. The kids knew better, according to daughter, and 6 months later when they released the full report, guess what?

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

    In the news today:
    A giant skunk disguised as a 9 year old girl crashes Halloween Party without an invitation.
    Luckily for everyone an alert family member saw the disguised giant skunk and dispatched it post haste with his favorite SCATTERGUN.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      And in other news an idiot with the intelligence of a 9 year old woke up and used mummy's computer while she was at work .

      October 22, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @ xZENTIGERx

      @ Robert
      Uh shut up. lol

      October 22, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mikithinks

    Nine year ald gir, boy they grow skunks big in Pennsylvania. Sixty years ago in Pa., in broad dailight at a bridal shower two adult guests were shot at when going to an outhouse. They weren't hit so I guess the Pa. hunters' aim is getting better.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. kevin park

    I know this comment will be unpopular among the generally unintelligent public but i hope this girl recovers

    October 22, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Tebojockey

    Unfortunately, these sort of things happen here in Pennsyltucky all the time. The poor girl is fortunate that the whole hunting family wasn't out there. They would not have found a trace of her after the ensuing barrage of gunfire!

    October 22, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  13. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    She wasn't THAT distant if he hit her with a shotgun. Why would you shot a skunk anyway? They are harmless.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • DJL


      Some folks seem to be living in a 1950s era "B" sci/fi movie: if you're not sure what it is - shoot it!

      October 22, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      As a responsible gun owner, I agree.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. NoMoreLabels

    Family's having a 'Halloween party' in which people change their appearance in the hopes to become a terrifying aspect/cute & fuzzy critter...whose idea was it to unlock the gun cabinet?

    October 22, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. Oltan

    Repeal the second amendment!

    October 22, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son


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