Thomas Grant, Pa. man, waives hearing in shooting of girl he mistook for a skunk, report says

Thomas Grant
CBS Pittsburgh
Thomas Grant
CBS Pittsburgh

(CBS) -- Thomas Grant, a Pennsylvania man who allegedly shot his young cousin after mistaking her costume for a skunk, waived his preliminary hearing Thursday and is now headed to trial, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

Grant, 24, faces charges of assault and reckless endangerment for shooting his 9-year-old cousin on Oct. 20.

"He is a family guy. This was a tragic accident and he feels terrible about it," said his attorney, Steven Valsamidis.

Police said the shooting happened during a Halloween party at a New Sewickley home, where Grant said his mother told him she heard there was a skunk in the yard.

He went outside with a shotgun and fired at what he thought was the animal. But he actually shot his cousin, who was in a black costume with a white feather or tassel on her hat.

The girl was struck in the shoulder and was flown to Children's Hospital. She is recovering from her wounds.

Valsamidis said he'll ask to have the charges against his client to be dismissed and that Grant's first concern is the girl's well-being.

"This experience is very terrifying for him. He's never been through it before," Valsamidis said. "He is terribly upset over this whole situation and obviously the first concern is that the 9-year-old little girl is doing well. She is recovering and it is my understanding that so far, so good."

Grant is scheduled to appear in court again in December.

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Oct. 22, 2012 - Nine-year-old Pa. girl in Halloween costume shot with shotgun after being mistaken for a skunk, police say