Man in court after shooting cousin while thinking she was a skunk

Jordan Chittley
Daily Buzz

Thomas Grant was asked by his mom to shoot a pest, but what he shot wasn't a pest

Some people may think guns can solve issues, but for one man in the Pittsburgh area carrying around a firearm made things much worse.

Thomas Grant, 24, was asked by his mom to find and shoot a pest she thought was around the house during a Halloween bonfire at a family member's home Oct. 20.

Grant got a shotgun from the home and aimed it at what he believed was a skunk while his mom shone a flashlight at it, said New Sewickley Township Chief of Police Ronald Leindecker. He struck the unidentified object, but it wasn't a skunk. It was his nine-year-old cousin dressed in a black and white Halloween costume, reported ABC. Grant struck her in the shoulder and she was flown to children's hospital.

She is reportedly recovering well.

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Grant, on the other hand, was in court late last week and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He is facing charges including aggravated assault.

"He is a family guy," said Attorney Steven Valsamidis to CBS Pittsburgh. "This was a tragic accident and he feels terrible about it."

Leindecker said Grant wasn't under the influence of alcohol at the time.

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To add to this story, Grant's wife gave birth to their first son the night before his court appearance. He's been a dad for less than a day and he's already in contention with the drunk dad who had his nine-year-old daughter drive him to the liquor store for the Dad of the Year Award.

Valsamidis said Grant's first concern is for the little girl's well being.

"This experience is very terrifying for him," said Valsamidis to CBS. "He's never been through it before, [he's] a responsible, well-liked man and that's why I feel comfortable with the overall outcome."

Grant is scheduled to appear in court again in December.

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