(BERKELEY, Calif.) — Nadine Hairston was minding her own business on a field trip with her fellow third-graders, enjoying a life-size sculpture of a whale, when she felt something sharp pierce her leg.
“First I felt shock and looked down,” the 8-year-old said on Wednesday. “I was sliding down…but had an arrow in my leg.”
Hairston was rushed from Lawrence Hall of Science Tuesday in Berkeley, Calif., to a hospital where doctors surgically removed the 2-foot-long crossbow arrow. The arrow punctured a fleshy part of her leg and missed major arteries.
Teachers and students came to Hairston’s aid after they saw the arrow protruding out of her leg. Hairston said the random arrow struck her when she was coming down the slide outside the Lawrence Hall of Science.
“I don’t know if they were aiming for me or just the whale. I have no idea,” Hairston said.
Authorities are investigating where the wayward arrow came from, speculating that a small-game hunter or a reckless sportsman in the area could be responsible.
“It’s certainly possible that it just might be an accident. A careless accident at the very least, but it could also be considered a violent felony,” Berkeley Police Sgt. Andrew Tucker said on Tuesday.
Hairston is expected to arrive back at school Thursday for a half day so she can ease back into a normal routine.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Matt McFarland, CNN
Sara Stewart, CNN
Ariane de Vogue and Laura Jarrett, CNN
Seth Fiegerman, CNN