Girl shot with apparent crossbow arrow at museum

A 2009 image of the fin whale model at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Hat4Rain
A 2009 image of the whale model at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Photo: Hat4Rain

Update, 4:30 p.m. Authorities said the arrow recovered in Tuesday morning’s shooting incident appears to be a type that would have been used with a crossbow. “It’s shorter than the typical arrow would be that’s used with a bow,” said Lt. Marc DeCoulode of UCPD. “I’m not an expert, but that’s what I’m being told.” Decoulode said police don’t yet know if Tuesday’s shooting is connected with an incident in late October, in which a doe appeared to have been shot with an arrow and was wandering in the Berkeley hills. “I don’t know if somebody is hunting, or if it was somebody just out indiscriminately taking target practice,” he said. Police are planning to return to the neighborhood Tuesday to speak with residents who may have been working during the morning’s investigation.

The San Francisco Chronicle has identified the girl as a third-grader from San Rafael who was at the museum on a class field trip.

Original story, 2:05 p.m. An 8-year-old girl on a field trip was shot with an arrow while sitting on a life-sized whale model at the Lawrence Hall of Science on Tuesday morning, authorities said.

The girl, whose name will not be released because she is a minor, was sitting on the whale “not doing anything unusual” when the arrow struck her in the left leg, said Capt. Stephen Roderick of the University of California Police Department at Berkeley. The museum is located at 1 Centennial Dr. in the Berkeley hills. He added that there did not appear to have been any museum demonstrations or any science activities Tuesday morning that involved shooting arrows.


Roderick said the girl was taken to Children’s Hospital & Research Center in Oakland with the arrow still embedded in her leg. The arrow had to be surgically removed, but the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Roderick said authorities received the call just after 10 a.m. about the incident. Police responded and began checking the area to find the source of the arrow. An Oakland Police helicopter helped in the search to see if anyone in the trees appeared to be shooting. Officers didn’t spot anyone who was obviously responsible in nearby parking lots or wooded areas.

“We don’t have any idea where it came from at this point, but we’re just trying to narrow things down,” said Roderick.

He said arrows can travel as far as 500 yards (or 1,500 feet), and that there are no known official archery ranges in the area. There are houses nearby, and some other areas that are open fields, he added.

He said police would continue talking to people in the area, and may go back this evening “after people get home from work” to see if there have been reports of similar incidents, such as people shooting arrows in a reckless manner in the neighborhood, or if parents might know of children with archery hobbies.


Roderick said, at this point in the investigation, police aren’t sure if someone intentionally shot an arrow toward the science museum.

“There’s no indication it was intentional at this time but we’re not ruling that out,” he said. “Hopefully it was an accident, but we don’t know for sure.”

Police ask anyone with information about this incident to call the UC Police Department at 510-642‑6760.

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