Alabama Girl, 3, Impaled by Stray Arrow That Flew Over Backyard

A 3-year-old girl is recovering after being shot in the chest with an arrow in the backyard of her Alabama home.

The arrow reportedly flew over the fence into the yard of a home on Woodpecker Road in Silverhill on Saturday.

Police said they were called to the home just before 6 p.m. after receiving reports of a child shot by an arrow that flew over the fence into the yard during a graduation party.

"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," Silverhill Police Chief Kenny Hempfleng told NBC15.

Ryan Archer
Ryan Archer, 35, was arrested and charged with second-degree assault after a 3-year-old girl was shot with an arrow. Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office

The little girl was hit in the chest with the arrow and needed to be airlifted by helicopter to USA Hospital.

Ryan Archer, 35, and another unidentified person were practicing with a bow and arrow nearby when the incident occurred, Hempfleng said.

Archer was arrested and charged with second-degree assault the following day, Baldwin County Jail records show. He was released later that night on a $5,000 bond.

The arrow reportedly missed causing a potentially fatal injury by a matter of centimeters, Hempfleng said.

Although the police chief believes Archer did not intend to hurt anyone, he said it was likely alcohol was involved during the incident and reiterated the need for safety during such activities.

"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," he said.

Neighbor Angela Herrin said there are a lot of children who live on the street and hopes no one else was hurt.

"It's scary to think that something so close to home can happen like that," she said. "I feel bad for the family, what they must be going through. My son, he's almost two, and I would be beside myself."

Hempfleng agreed, noting the incident would be "the last thing you'd think would happen at a nice party at somebody's house with children involved."

Newsweek has contacted the Silverhill Police Department for comment.