A graduation party in Alabama almost turned deadly when an arrow struck a 3-year-old girl, police said.
Around 6 p.m. May 22, the toddler was playing with other children in the backyard of a home in Silverhill when the arrow came whizzing over a fence and pierced the victim’s arm and chest.
Authorities said Ryan Archer, 35, shot the arrow with a bow in a neighboring yard and missed his target, which was set up on the opposite side of the fence. The arrow then ricocheted off a dirt mound and sent it into the property where the party was being held, WKRG reported.
“They had a big blowup waterslide and she was at the top about to slide down when she was shot,” Silverhill Police Chief Kenneth Hempfleng told Gulf Coast News Today.
The child was airlifted by helicopter to University Hospital in Mobile and is currently back at home recovering from her injuries.
“I talked to the father, and he said the doctor told them it’s a miracle she’s still alive,” Chief Hempfleng noted. “They said the arrow bruised her lung but missed her heart. Because she is so small, if it had entered a few centimeters one way, it would have been a different story.”
Hempfleng said Archer, who allegedly was drinking at the time of the incident, had been at the party but left to shoot arrows next door, Gulf Coast News reported.
Police charged Archer with second-degree assault, and he was released on a $5,000 bond.
Alabama law states anyone who “recklessly causes serious physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument” can face such charges, according to WEAR-TV.
“The family is very blessed that she was able to come home,” Hempfleng said. “It might take her a while before she is able to go anywhere, but it could have been much worse.”