BLAINE, Minn. (FOX 9) - A circus act in Blaine, Minnesota went awry Friday evening when officials say a performer was hurt after being shot by with an arrow by her husband.
Police responded around 8:35 p.m. to the Northtown Mall parking lot for the woman hurt by an arrow at Cirque Italia, a traveling show making a stop this weekend in Blaine. Police say they found a 28-year-old woman had an injury to the area around her neck but it didn't appear to be serious.
Police say the woman was last listed in stable condition at Hennepin County Medical Center. Officers also said the person who fired the shot indicated the crossbow may have misfired.
A circus spokesperson tells FOX 9 the woman hurt was Elizabeth Vizuet who performs in a crossbow act with her husband Hector Parazan. According to the official, Parazan uses a crossbow to shoot balloons across a stage being held by Vizuet.
"We include a bow and arrow act with a live target so it is a husband and wife duo, and he shoots arrows at balloons she is holding," explains performer and media rep Samantha Kulinski. "Unfortunately, last night there was a malfunction of some sort, and the arrow hit her in the neck."
The rep says that during their 10-year history together, Parazan has never missed until Friday night. Parazan checks his equipment before every performance, but is now working to determine if there was a malfunction with the bow.
After the mishap, Vizuet was able to walk to an ambulance and was treated at the hospital. She was put on a breathing tube for a period of time, but is expected to go home on Saturday.
The circus rep said that mistakes are rare, and the accident is surprising. However, she explains, at the end of the day, performers are human and understand there is a risk to what they do.
The bow and arrow act is suspended for now, as they get time to heal and figure out what went wrong.
"We’re going to investigate what exactly happened, so we can determine how to move forward to try to prevent this in the future," said Kulinski.
But Kulinski says she knows this duo will be back on stage in no time. "There’s always risks and when you sign up to do it, you know exactly what you’re getting into and it’s something you’re willing to risk because it’s something you’re willing to do because you couldn’t imagine doing anything else."
Cirque Italia Water Circus shows will continue throughout the weekend in Blaine and has other shows scheduled in coming weeksn in St. Paul, Duluth, Eau Claire, and La Crosse.