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Hunting Accident Could Be to Blame in Fatal Shooting of 25-Year-Old Woman in Iowa

Police investigating the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Micalla Rettinger in Iowa are continuing to evaluate anyone hunting or participating in outdoor activities near where she died.

Waterloo Police Dept. Major Joe Leibold told CNN in an email that one possible scenario is that Rettinger’s death was a hunting accident, but he said police have no evidence to support that at this time.

“Given it is a heavily wooded area with a great deal of wildlife, that is one of the possible scenarios … along with several others,” he said.

Authorities are offering a reward of $14,000 for any information leading to an arrest in Rettinger’s death. The Northern Iowa graduate was hit by a bullet that pierced her vehicle’s window as she drove in Iowa early Sunday morning.

Rettinger was in the car with two passengers and a dog when she was hit in the neck, police said. One passenger, Adam Kimball, 32, was injured and has since been released from the hospital, while the third person and the dog were not hurt, police said.

“There is nothing to indicate the victims in this case were in any way involved in any activity that would have caused them to be targeted in this manner,” police said in a statement.

Waterloo authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying anyone involved in the shooting or who could have been hunting near the Cedar River.

Rettinger graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2016 with a degree in biology. She was a member of the school’s softball team.

“We are devastated to learn of the senseless death of Micalla Rettinger,” said David Harris, the university’s director of athletics. “This news is heartbreaking to our softball team … and the entire campus. Our thoughts and prayers are with Micalla’s family and friends.”

The Northern Iowa softball team honored her with a moment of silence before the home season finale Tuesday night.

Father jolted awake

When a bullet pierced through her window and killed her in Iowa, her father jolted awake hundreds of miles away in Florida.

Steven Rettinger was in Florida spending time with his father who’s fighting cancer, and woke up suddenly about 3:30 a.m. his time Sunday. A time zone away, his 25-year-old daughter had just been hit by gunfire in Waterloo around 2:30 a.m. local time, he said.

“I must’ve woke up right when it was happening,” he told the Des Moines Register.

He told the paper his daughter aspired to become a dentist, and was likely dropping off her boyfriend after his shift at a local bar. Her boyfriend was also shot and is expected to survive, he said.

“It was shocking and knocked the wind out of me,” Steven Rettinger told CNN affiliate KGAN. “She was everybody’s friend and she would give you the shirt off her back if she thought you needed it.”

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