Police Searching For Clues In Waterloo Highway Shooting [VIDEO]
When UNI hosted Iowa for its final home softball game of the season on Tuesday, the Panthers took the field with heavy hearts.
A moment of silence was held before the first pitch to honor former outfielder Micalla Rettinger. Then, UNI defeated the Hawkeyes, 4-2, inside the UNI-Dome.
The 25-year-old Lenexa, Kansas, native was shot and killed while driving on U.S. Highway 218 in Waterloo early Sunday morning. Called "KK" by her teammates and coaches, Rettinger played softball at UNI from 2013-2016. She started in each of the Panthers' 205 games during that span, earning second-team all-Missouri Valley Conference honors her junior and senior seasons and leading UNI with 56 hits her final year. She graduated from UNI in 2016 with a degree in biology.
"I am devastated. KK was a pretty special kid to us," head softball coach Ryan Jacobs said in a statement released by UNI. "I can still see the smile on her face and I remember the way she always thought of other people first in a genuine way. When we had youth camps, she was the one that all of the kids on campus would be drawn to. This is a huge loss to our team and everyone that knew her."
"Sunday morning, we lost a member of the Panther family. We are devastated to learn of the senseless death of Micalla Rettinger," Director of Athletics David Harris said in the statement. "This news is heartbreaking to our softball team, UNI Athletics and the entire campus. Our thoughts and prayers are with Micalla's family and friends."
Investigators hope that tips from the public can help them determine who fatally shot Rettinger and injured 32-year-old Adam Kimball, one of two male passengers in the SUV she was driving. The other man wasn't hurt.
Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers is offering a $7,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case. According to Waterloo police Maj. Joe Leibold, investigators are trying to identify anyone who may have been hunting or shooting -- either legally or illegally -- in the area near U.S. 218 between the Cedar River and the Conger Avenue bridges. Authorities also want to talk with anyone with a trail/surveillance camera or who may have seen suspicious activity in the area.
Tips can be called into the Waterloo Police Department Investigations Division at 319-291-4340 Option 7, or Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers at 855-300-TIPS (8477).
According to police, Rettinger and her passengers were returning home from work when the shooting occurred around 2:30 AM Sunday. Officials said the bullet shattered the driver's side window of Rettinger's SUV and struck her in the neck, then hit Kimball in the face. Rettinger died shortly after stopping the vehicle near the Greenhill Road exit. Kimball was taken to a hospital in Iowa City, where a spokesman confirmed he was released on Tuesday.
"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," Leibold said in a news release.
NOTE: The video above is a feature on Micalla Rettinger, produced by Around The Corner Productions for PantherSportsTalk in 2016, her final season of softball at UNI. It gives some insight into Rettinger's leadership skills and the type of person she was.