Former college softball player killed while driving home from work

Former college softball player killed while driving home from work
Micalla Rettinger was fatally shot Sunday. Police say Rettinger and her passengers were not targeted. (Source: UNI/CNN)

CEDAR FALLS, IA (KGAN/CNN) - The University of Northern Iowa is remembering one of its former student athletes.

Authorities don’t know why 25-year-old Micalla Rettinger was shot while driving home from work Sunday morning, but they think it was likely an accident.

“It’s a devastating loss,” said Jerek Wolcott, assistant athletic director for communications at UNI. “It’s a hard day for UNI Athletics and for the UNI community as a whole.”

The UNI community saw 25-year-old Rettinger as a model student athlete.

"She was very well liked,” Wolcott said. “One of her teammates described her as a sister. Coach Jacobs talked about her smile and how it just lit up the room. Student athletes become like children, or like second children to our coaches. And so a day like this is something that you never want to go through.”

Her life was cut short tragically when she was shot driving home from her shift at Mulligan's.

Waterloo Police Maj. Joe Leibold said this shooting is unlike anything he's seen in nearly 30 years of service.

“We’re pursuing all investigatory avenues, whether it started on the roadway, whether it was off the road, whether it was further down the riverbed there. We’re looking at all those options,” Leibold said.

At this time police don’t have reason to believe Rettinger and the other two passengers in the car were targeted.

They also are considering that the shot was fired near the interstate by a hunter.

"It's a state park out that way and then there's heavily wooded area and there are islands out that way,” Leibold said. “We've been made aware that some illegal hunting may have been taking place on a couple of those locations. It's not legal to hunt at 2 in the morning."

Police said they still haven’t recovered the bullet.

"It's really a frustrating thing for I think for everybody," Wolcott said.

He hopes that finding anyone with information will help bring the community more answers.

Two other people were in the car when the shooting happened.

One of Rettinger's passengers was injured and is recovering in the hospital.

The other passenger was not hurt.

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