Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

9-year old Pennsylvania girl shot and injured when mistaken as a skunk

A 9-year old girl in Freedom, Pennsylvania, had been at a Halloween party, dressed as a skunk, when one of her relatives mistook her for the real animal and shot her with a shotgun.

From an article:

New Sewickley Township police say the girl was over a hillside and wearing a black costume and a black hat with a white tassel. 
Chief Ronald Leindecker says a male relative mistook her for a skunk and fired a shotgun, hitting her in the shoulder Saturday night. 
Leindecker tells the Beaver County Times that the girl was alert and talking when she was flown to a hospital in Pittsburgh, about 30 miles away. Her condition was unavailable. 
Leindecker says the man hadn't been drinking and he doesn't know whether charges will be filed.
UPDATE (5/8/13):  The shooter, Thomas Grant, was charged only two misdemeanor charges — simple assault and reckless endangerment.  

He has now pleaded guilty to those charges:

Thomas Edward Grant, 25, of 35 Lightcap Lane, Jackson Center, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of simple assault and reckless endangerment. 

A charge of aggravated assault was dismissed in February after a judge agreed with a defense motion claiming there was “proof of malice” on Grant’s part to support the felony charge. 
Beaver County Judge Harry Knafelc sentenced Grant to serve two years’ probation and to pay restitution to the victim’s family. Grant’s hunting privileges have also been revoked during his probation. ... 
Valsamidis characterized the shooting as a “tragic accident.” He said Grant underwent toxicology tests the night of the shooting and had no drugs or alcohol in his system. 
After the shooting, the girl was flown to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh and underwent surgery for injuries to her spine and numerous internal organs as a result of the birdshot wounds, according to the police report. Police never released the girl’s name. 
Valsamidis said the child was hit with about 100 bird shots and is still under medical supervision including regular testing for lead poisoning. She could still require surgery to have some of the pellets removed, he said.
Though he has to pay restitution, and has had his hunting license revoked, these are only misdemeanor charges, which means that Mr. Grant gets to keep his guns.

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