BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — An 8-year-old girl who was struck by an arrow while on a school field trip at the University of California, Berkeley does not appear to have been shot intentionally, campus police said Thursday.
Investigators are still trying to reconstruct the arrow's trajectory to pinpoint where it came from and who shot it as the center is located not too far from a residential area, Capt. Steven Roderick said.
"We have no real specific information yet," Roderick said. "But, at this time, it doesn't appear that someone intentionally tried to shoot at the little girl with an arrow."
Nadine Hairston was sliding down a life-sized model of a fin whale outside UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science Tuesday when she felt a sting from a 20-inch crossbow arrow that hit her in the thigh.
"I looked down, because I'm not exactly running, and I see the arrow in my skin," Nadine told KNTV-TV. "I was scared. I was shaking. It was really scary."
As she started crying, Nadine said her teacher rushed to her aid. To stay calm, she said they sang songs by country star Taylor Swift in the ambulance until they arrived at a hospital in nearby Oakland.
There, the third-grader needed surgery to remove the arrow, her relieved mother, Alicia Hairston of San Rafael, told the TV station.
Nadine stayed at the hospital overnight Tuesday, was back at home recuperating on Wednesday and planned to spend a half-day at school on Thursday, her mother said.
"I feel lucky that it hit her where it hit her because it didn't hit any arteries, any bones, any muscles or any veins," Hairston said.
"It could've been so much worse," she said.
Doctors say Nadine is expected to make a full recovery, Hairston said.
Police are focusing on an area just north of the science center, Roderick said. While officers have discovered several other arrows of different sizes in the area, they don't know if it's related to Tuesday's shooting, he added.
"There are a lot of kids up there visiting the center on a daily basis, so we're really lucky that it wasn't a more serious injury," said Roderick, who hopes someone will come forward with information.
Meanwhile, Nadine and her mother asked aloud who would hit her with an arrow.
"Why would you do that?" the girl asked.