SILVERHILL, Alabama — A 3-year-old girl is back home in Silverhill after being shot by an arrow over the weekend.
“I talked to the father and he said the doctor told them it’s a miracle she’s still alive,” said Silverhill Police Chief Kenneth Hempfleng in a phone interview Monday. “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 the girl was attending a graduation party on Woodpecker Drive when she was shot with an arrow from a neighboring lot at around 6 p.m. on Saturday.
“They had a big blowup waterslide and she was at the top about to slide down when she was shot,” Hempfleng said.
According to reports, she was shot through the arm and into her chest. Others attending the party heard the screams and called 9-1-1.
Hempfleng said when officers arrived at the home, they talked to the family and talked to 35-year-old Ryan Archer, who admitted to shooting the arrow.
“He said, he had been at the party and had gone next door to shoot arrows at a target,” Hempfleng said.
Archer told officers he shot at the target, missed and hit a hard patch of ground. The arrow ricocheted off the ground through the fence into the neighboring yard where it hit the girl. The target was directly in front of where the children were playing, Hempfleng said. There was at least one other person on the property shooting arrows. Archer admitted that they had been drinking.
The child was taken by helicopter to the University of South Alabama’s University Hospital in Mobile where she stayed overnight before being released.
“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.”
Archer, who identified himself at the scene as being from Mobile but whose address in Baldwin County Corrections Facility records was listed as Fairhope, was charged with second degree assault. He was taken to the Robertsdale jail then transported to the Baldwin County Corrections Facility where he was booked at 10:37 a.m. Saturday. He was released at 6:44 p.m. on a $5,000 bond.