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. Heather wrinkler

    My gosh! That guy is crazy!!

    October 22, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. BGMchocolate

    I guess the guy has an itchy trigger finger and thought a skunk minding it's own business is a better than nothing target.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. Everything will be illuminated soon enough

    really? why shoot at an animal anyway? freaking gun toting hillbillies!!

    October 22, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. Yep

    Shooting in the dark? Unsure of the target? And all to supposedly shoot a skunk? Not a move to protect yourself, surely. It's not a lion. What type of risk calculat was going on? Who whips out a gun at a party? With children? Unfortunately, we know the answers to these questions all too well, but the NRA has politicians too scared to say it.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. jonat

    Can we see a smiling photo of the shooter? I'd like to count his teeth, I'm guessing he has three left

    October 22, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. GenXcynic

    Even children have more sense than this idiot. Euthanize now, save on litigation!

    October 22, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. High Way

    Some don't think and have the urge to be trigger happy when they have a fire arm.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dan I

    Given the situation, a costume party, the shooter was definitely acting stupidly. He was well aware that there were people, including children, in costume and in the dark, at a distance, his target could easily have been mistaken.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. Diamond Girl

    My first thought was why shoot a skunk? Skunks are stinky, for sure, but they aren't going to kill you. My second thought was that the house was full of guests milling about for a halloween celebration, why would you even think of pulling out a firearm? Esp for a skunk! I know Americans seem to be fine with all this gun ownership business (I'm Canadian so to me this is all a complete mystery to be quite honest) but the sole purpose of a gun is to shoot and kill. You take a gun out you are prepared to kill someone or something. And this idiot almost killed that kid. He should be charged.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Exactly what I was thinking. I own a couple of shotguns, but they are strictly for hunting, I would never pull them out to shoot anything in my yard- DURING A PARTY. That's just plain stupid, unfortunately there is a huge population of low IQ rednecks that do this all too often. I certainly hope that idiot is charged.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Margaret

      I am an American and I am not all about gun ownership. This person is just plain stupid. I don't think there would ever be a reason to shoot an animal. Certainly not a a party. It just goes to show that the world is filled with idiots.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • patriot00

      Scary these people have voting rights

      October 22, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. ThyWord isTruth

    The little girl should have been carrying her own – to protect herself and others.....

    October 22, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. FarLeft

    Aaaaand why.., would someone just randomly feel it is correct to shoot-at a skunk, with a shotgun, during a halloween party, ATTENDED BY CHILDREN!?

    October 22, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. trollol

    Nothing wrong with the right to bear arms. People just need to take courses on how to be responsible gun owners.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      But if he didn't have a gun this wouldn't have happened. The number of accidental shootings dwarf the number of robbery's stopped or prevented by firearms. I'm not saying they should be completely illegal, but the 2nd amendment was written over 200 years ago!! I think we can revise it a little to suit modern society.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  13. thebobs

    Well then, if alcohol is not involved then I'll blame it on inbreeding. If you have ever traveled the back roads of PA you know what I mean.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Damian

      Scary but true I'm afraid..........and not just in PA.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. xeno

    If the NRA is so serious about protecting 2nd amendment rights, they'll start coming out against morons like this.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. SML

    What an idiot! Gun owners should need to take an IQ test

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