WATERLOO — Police are seeking the public’s help as they investigate the death of a former University of Northern Iowa softball player who was killed early Sunday when struck by a bullet while driving on Highway 218 in Waterloo.
Authorities said Micalla Alexis Rettinger, 25, of Cedar Falls, and her passengers were coming from work when the shooting happened.
“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,” said Waterloo police Maj. Joe Leibold.
Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers has offered a $6,000 reward for information in the case.
Leibold said authorities want to hear from anyone who noticed anything suspicious in the area at the time of the shooting or anyone who may have a surveillance or trail camera that might have recorded something.
“We are asking for the public’s help in locating any person who may be involved in shooting or hunting — legal or illegal — in the area of the Cedar River between the Highway 218 Bridge and the Conger Avenue Bridge,” Leibold said.
A passenger, Adam Jake Kimball, 32, also was injured in the shooting, according to police. An autopsy of Rettinger is scheduled for Tuesday.
According to police, Rettinger was driving south about 2:38 a.m. Sunday on Highway 218 when a bullet shattered the driver’s side window — not the windshield as previously reported — and hit her in the neck.
The projectile then struck Kimball.
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Rettinger pulled over near the Greenhill Road exit and died. Kimball was taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City and is expected to survive, police said. A second man in the vehicle wasn’t injured.
The shooting happened as Rettinger’s Jeep was crossing the bridge over Brinker Lake and the Cedar River. The area below is heavily wooded. Waterloo police were looking into the area around Brinker Lake as they continue to investigate the shooting.
Leibold said one of the men in the vehicle had been working at a Cedar Falls bar that night, and they were traveling home when the shooting happened. He said initial reports are that there were no other vehicles on the highway in that area, and there hadn’t been any trouble or other incident leading up to the shooting.
Police haven’t received any other reports of vehicles damaged by gunfire, and there were no reports of gunshots in any surrounding areas during the time frame, Leibold said.
Investigators are collecting fragments of the bullet for ballistics purposes.
Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to call the Waterloo Police Department at (319) 291-4340, ext. 7, or Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers at 855-300-TIPS (8477).
Rettinger, a native of Lenexa, Kan., was a four-year softball player at UNI from 2013-2016. She earned second-team all-Missouri Valley Conference recognition her junior and senior years, in 2015 and 2016, leading UNI in hits in the 2016 season with 56 while recording a .311 batting average with 16 extra-base hits. She also drove in 20 runs from the second spot in UNI’s batting order, reaching base at a .412 clip.
Condolences began pouring in to her Facebook page when news of her death broke.
“You were more than a teammate, you were a sister,” said former UNI softball teammate Mel Walls. “I am forever grateful for the memories.”
Amie Rivers of the Waterloo Courier contributed to this report.