BERKELEY -- An 8-year-old girl who had her leg punctured with an arrow as she climbed on a play structure outside the Lawrence Hall of Science on Tuesday was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon and went to see her friends, police said.
Nadine Hairston was visiting the museum on a school field trip and sliding down a giant whale structure outside the public science center in the Berkeley hills shortly after 10 a.m. when a 20-inch crossbow-style arrow hit the girl's left thigh.
It missed blood vessels and caused a non-life threatening injury that kept her in the hospital overnight. Doctors removed the arrow Tuesday and police continue to investigate the unusual incident.
"She's doing great," said the girl's mother, Alicia Hairston, adding she had no qualms about her daughter, Nadine, going on the school field trip because "she was in safe hands."
Investigators said they don't believe the girl was targeted but the experience was traumatic for her mother.
"I was scared when I got the call but when I got (to the hospital) I saw she was OK," Hairston said.
After the third-grader left Childrens Hospital Oakland on Wednesday afternoon, she stopped by her school in Marinwood for a visit.
"She actually went by the school to see her friends (Wednesday) afternoon, so it appears she is in good spirits and on the road to recovery,'' said UC-Berkeley Police Capt. Steve Roderick.
School principal Will Anderson said a field trip to Berkeley planned for Thursday was canceled to eliminate "any kind of risk." Counselors and teachers were on hand at the school Wednesday to talk to students about the situation, answer questions and ease any fears.
After the girl was hit, the chaperones split into two groups, with one team leading children inside the building while the other called for help and remained with the girl.
"The girl was incredibly brave," crying a little but coping well, Anderson said, describing her as a popular "positive spirit in our school."
But as the girl recovers, police continue to investigate and have no new information regarding the origin of the arrow, Roderick said.
Some arrows have been found in the hills during the investigation, but none match the type that hit the girl, police said.
Occasionally, some people do hunt turkey and other small animals with arrows in that part of the hills, but so far police have not found evidence that the arrow came from a hunter. Roderick said the arrow was shot from no further than 1,000 yards away.
Nearby UC Berkeley does have an archery club but the club's senior president, Rehan Alam, said crossbows are not allowed to be used in the club. Their practice area is far from where the girl was hit, he added.
Police released a flier on Tuesday showing a picture of the crossbow arrow and asking for the public's help in reporting incidents of people shooting arrows in the hills above the campus.
Anyone with information is asked to call 510-642-0472 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 510-642-6760 after hours.
Marin Independent Journal staff writerNels Johnston contributed to this report.