Police say that a man accidentally shot a 9-year-old girl at a western Pennsylvania home during a Halloween party around 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The man, a relative of the girl, said he thought she was a skunk.
The Associated Press reports that New Sewickley Township police say the girl was wearing a black costume with a black hat and a white tassel. Police Chief Ronald Leindecker told the Beaver County Times that a male relative mistook the young girl for a skunk and opened fire in her direction with his shotgun. The shot hit the girl on the shoulder.
The Associated Press reports that the unidentified male relative shot the girl as she was coming over a hillside to attend a Halloween party at 376 Brewer Road.
According to The Beaver County Times, the girl was still alive and alert when she was flown to the UPMC Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh 30 miles away.
Leindecker said the man had not been drinking. The police have not confirmed whether they will file charges. The Associated Press reports that New Sewickley police said on Sunday that the decision whether to file charges against the man will be made shortly. Leindecker said officers were investigating and collecting statements. The case will be turned over to the Beaver County district attorney's office as soon as investigations are complete.
The Beaver Count Times readers have expressed outrage at the shooting. A reader asks indignantly:
“I am not at all sure what the problem is with this situation. First, what kind of idiot has a loaded shotgun and a children’s Halloween party?... Even if there were a ‘skunk’ in the area, that certainly was not the time to dispense of it. Second, there must be some pretty big 'skunks' in New Sewickley Township or some really 'dumb' people. Third, this almost 'smells' like a cover-up. Who is the shooter? Is it someone who is connected?”The Inquisitr observes that even if the man had not been drinking, someone should be held responsible when a 9-year-old-girl is "accidentally" shot at a Halloween party.
The girl's present condition is unknown.