It may sound like a whale of a tale, but an 8-year-old San Rafael girl who was struck by an arrow near a life-size whale structure outside the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley is telling the truth.
Nadine Hairston-Millington was hit by an arrow while playing the popular structure on Tuesday morning during a school field trip. The arrow lodged in her leg and required hospital doctors to remove the 20-inch cross bow. No one knows who shot it, and both the University of California at Berkeley and Berkeley police departments are investigating what they are calling a serious incident.
"It hurt, it hurt a lot so I started crying a little," the third grader told NBC Bay Area on Wednesday. "I stopped when my teacher came over."
Rushed to Children's Hospital in Oakland, Nadine said she sang songs to stay calm: "My teacher put Taylor Swift songs on and we both sang the words together since she is my favorite singer."
Nadine was released and is expected to fully recover.
Police Capt. Stephen Roderick told Bay City News earlier this week that investigators are trying to reconstruct the arrow's trajectory, a difficult task when "an arrow can travel 500 to 1,000 yards." University police said that nearby residents said that other arrows have been found in the area, indicating that someone has been shooting in the recent past.
Nadine's mom, Alicia Hairston, said that the entire ordeal has been bizarre and scary, but in the end, her daughter is now home and it could have been worse.
"I feel lucky it hit where it hit, didn't hit an artery, muscle, a vein. It could have been much worse," she said. Hairston says doctors are expecting a complete recovery.
Nadine doesn't seem bothered by the incident at all. In fact, she thinks by catching the arrow in her leg, she may have done something kind for the statue.
"I saved a whale," she said proudly.
Anyone who might have information about the case is asked to call UC Berkeley police at (510) 642-6760 or UC police at 510-642-0472 or 6760.