A three-year-old girl was shot in the chest by an arrow that flew in from the backyard of a neighbour who was target practicing on Saturday in Alabama. The girl is safe and police said that she is recovering from the arrow wound.
The Silverhill police said that the girl was playing on a waterslide during a graduation party with other children when an arrow impaled her. It flew in from a neighbour who was target practising.
The neighbour identified as Ryan Archer, 35, was later arrested and charged with second-degree assault, Silverhill Police Chief Kenny Hempfleng said. Mr Archer was practising with another unidentified man in his backyard.
“They shot a bow, and the arrow was released. It skipped off an old dirt pile that’s pretty hard, went up into where the children were coming down a big blowup water slide, and struck the juvenile,” Mr Hempfleng told the media. The police had received a call just before 6 pm on Saturday.
The arrow pierced the three-year-old girl’s arm and chest, the police said.
Mr Archer was released, according to Baldwin County Jail log, later that night on a $5000 [about £3500] bond.
The toddler was airlifted by a helicopter to the USA Health University Hospital.
Mr Hempfleng told the media that the neighbour didn’t intend to hurt anyone and that alcohol was most likely involved during the incident.
He said: “If you’re going to practice or shoot any type of weapon, you need to know where you’re going to shoot it, where the projectile is going to go, and you want to make sure it goes in a safe direction.”
The neighbourhood was distressed after this incident. One neighbour, identified as Angela Herrin, told the media: “It’s scary to think that something so close to home can happen like that.” She added: “I feel bad for the family, what they must be going through.”
Mr Hempfleng meanwhile said that the family is lucky to have her back. He said: “I talked to the father, and he said the doctor told them it’s a miracle she’s still alive. They said the arrow bruised her lung but missed her heart. Because she is so small, if it had entered a few centimetres one way, it would have been a different story.”