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ROCHESTER, Pa.--A woman hosting a Halloween party shined a light for her son to help him shoot what they thought was a skunk but was really his 8-year-old cousin in a black-and-white costume, police said.
The girl, who was hit in the shoulder, arm, back and neck, was hospitalized Monday in critical condition after Saturday night's shooting in Rochester, a rural area about 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh where firearms and hunting are common.
The woman hosting the party, Janet Grant, told police officers someone told her at around 8:30 p.m. there was a skunk nearby, and she asked her son to shoot it, New Sewickley Township police Chief Ronald Leindecker said Monday, according to the Beaver County Times. The son, 24-year-old Thomas Grant, grabbed a shotgun while his mother pointed the beam of a flashlight at a nearby hillside, Leindecker said. Grant spotted what he thought was a skunk under a tree and fired, the chief said, but then he heard a scream from his cousin. The girl was wearing a black body costume and a black hat with a white tassel.