NEW SEWICKLEY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A child remains hospitalized after she was shot over the weekend during a family party in Beaver County when investigators say she was outside and mistaken for a skunk.

New Sewickley police say the Grant family was having a Halloween party when they heard that a skunk was roaming around the property.

“The mother of the house, she contacted her son, which is a Thomas Grant, advised him that he should get a shotgun to extinguish the skunk that was in the yard,” said Chief Ron Leindecker, of New Sewickley Police.

While his mother shined a flashlight, authorities say Thomas Grant told police he fired a shot about 30 feet into some trees.

“After that, they noticed that it wasn’t a skunk that they had hit,” Chief Leindecker said. “It was a young girl who they hit. The young girl is a relative of the family.

Police say the girl was shot in the back and abdomen with a 12-gauge shotgun. She was wearing a black costume and hat with a white feather.

Officers have been talking to the family trying to figure out how and why this happened.

“They’re devastated,” said Chief Leindecker. “It was a relative party, it wasn’t a bunch of friends, they’re all related, so it’s tragic for the entire family.”

Police are still investigating the case, which will be turned over to the Beaver County District Attorney.

“There’s a charge of reckless endangerment and some other criminal charges are possible,” Chief Leindecker added. “The District Attorney’s Office will make that decision if and when those charges will be filed.”

The 8-year-old girl remains in critical condition at Children’s Hospital.

Report: Girl Mistaken For Animal, Accidentally Shot In Beaver County (10/21/12)
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