Entries in Costume (2)


Girl in Halloween Costume Mistaken for Skunk Shot by Cousin

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW SEWICKLEY TOWNSHIP, Pa.) -- An 8-year-old girl in New Sewickley Township, Pa., dressed for Halloween in a black costume and a black hat with a white feather was shot over the weekend by her cousin who thought she was a skunk.

In a statement Monday, New Sewickley Township Chief of Police Ronald Leindecker said the girl was at a Halloween bonfire at a family member's home around 10 p.m. The girl, whose name has not been released, was said to have been playing on a hillside when the home's owner, Janet Grant, mistook her for the noxious pest.

Police said Grant then asked her son, Thomas Grant, who police said was the victim's cousin, to shoot the pest.

According to the statement, Grant then retrieved a shotgun from the home. While his mother shined a flashlight at what they believed was a skunk, Thomas fired the gun, striking the girl in the shoulder and abdomen.

The girl was flown by helicopter about 30 miles to Pittsburgh Children's Hospital, where she underwent surgery and where, according to police, she remains in critical condition.

"He is extremely devastated by the actions that took place," Leindecker told ABC's Pittsburgh affiliate WTAE. "It's a tragic incident that occurred. It's not something he dreamed would ever happen."

Leindecker said Thomas Grant was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the shooting. Although authorities have not yet filed charges, the police chief did meet with the Beaver County district attorney, and plans to work with the Pennsylvania Game Commission about possible charges related to animal gaming laws.

Leindecker said charges could still be filed pending an investigation.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Man Dressed as Santa Blamed for Christmas Day Massacre

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(GRAPEVINE, Texas) -- A Santa-suited gunman who killed six people on Christmas morning was the estranged husband of one of the victims and the father of two teenagers who died in the massacre.

Aziz Yazdanpanah, 56, showed up to his estranged wife's apartment on Christmas morning dressed like St. Nick and opened fire shortly after the family had unwrapped presents.

Yazdanpanah then killed himself.

The six victims were identified by ABC affiliate WFAA as: Nasrin Rahmaty, 55, who was Yazdanpanah's wife; Nona Yazdanpanah, 19, his daughter; Ali Yazdanpanah, 15, his son; Zohreh Rahmaty, 58, his sister-in-law; Hossein Zarei, 59, his brother-in-law; and Sahra Zarei, 22, his niece.

The medical examiner's office has still not released the names of the victims.

Zarei owned a popular Dallas, Texas, ranch and was well known in the Iranian-American community, according to WFAA. On Christmas Eve, the family hosted a party at the ranch. The gunman was not invited.

"The appearance we got leading up to this was it was just a normal Christmas gathering," Sgt. Roger Eberling of the Grapevine Police Department told ABC News.

Eberling said it was unclear whether AzizYazdanpanah was invited to the apartment, but said it appeared he did not force his way inside.

Around 11:16 a.m., Eberling said a female victim sent a text message to a friend indicating the family had just exchanged gifts and that the gunman was there dressed as Santa Claus.

Minutes later, police received a 911 call, which initially sounded like silence, Eberling said.  After listening to the call again, Eberling said police could hear someone in a raspy voice saying "help me." He said the caller sounded out of breath and the call went dead after 15 to 20 seconds.

Police arrived within minutes where they found the bodies of all six victims and the gunman. Two handguns were found among the wrapping paper and Christmas tree.

Nasrin Rahmaty had been separated from her husband since March, according to ABC affiliate WFAA. Rahmaty and her two children moved into the Grapevine, Texas, apartment where they were murdered, while Yazdanpanah reportedly remained in the family's Colleyville, Texas, home, which had been foreclosed on last year, WFAA reported.

Yazdanpanah had been having financial troubles after his real estate business slowed down and had reportedly filed for bankruptcy.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio