CHASKA, Minn. (WCCO) – A teenage boy is in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center after being shot in the head with an arrow over the weekend, according to police.
Chaska Police say they were called around 6:24 p.m. Saturday to the 100 block of Stanford Circle on a report that a 16-year-old had been hit in the head with an aluminum arrow shaft fired by the boy’s best friend.
The boy was transported to the Chaska 212 Medical Center and then transferred to HCMC.
Police said there have been no arrests in the incident.
Chaska Police Chief Scott Knight says there’s no other way to put it.
“It’s just a very sad accident,” Knight said.
Ron Borg is a neighbor who returned to his home about an hour after the shooting, just a few doors down from the accident scene. Borg recalls the nearby hillside and house were protected by yellow police tape.
“Of course we all feel terrible. Nobody likes to see anybody get hurt by an accidental injury of any kind. I hope the best for him,” Borg said.
Police say the 16-year-old who was hit was riding his bicycle over to his friend’s house to visit. It’s not clear if the bow handler, the victim’s best friend, saw him when he drew back on the bow and fired the arrow.
Chief Knight says it appears to be purely accidental.
“The actions of him coming to the house was independent, so there was no target practice of any nature that we know of,” he said.
Whether shooting at targets or big game, an archer would normally use arrows that have sharp tips at the end of the shaft. Those pointed ends can be either field tips for shooting into targets or the razor-sharp broad heads used to kill game.
The arrow that was fired, striking the teen had neither – just a simple aluminum shaft. But even tipless shafts fired from a compound bow have tremendous velocity and are lethal weapons.
When an archer demonstrates on a target 20 yards away, a plain shaft aluminum arrow buries the shaft halfway into a heavy block of foam.
“We’re hoping for the best for him and trying to understand exactly how this event happened,” Knight said.
On Monday, the family of the bow handler released a statement through attorney Marsh Halberg. It reads in part:
“The young man and his family are grief stricken at the tragic accident that occurred Saturday evening around 6pm. We believe this was truly a tragic accident. No alcohol or drugs were involved. The family asks for support and prayers for the young man who was shot as well as his entire family.”
The victim is currently in critical condition at HCMC.