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Police Chief appeals to the ‘Conscience’ of whomever fired the fatal shot—Come forward

(WATERLOO-KWWL) UPDATE:  A young woman is dead and her boyfriend wounded in a Waterloo highway shooting. The answers to how it happened and why remain a mystery.

Now, two days after the shooting, Waterloo Police Chief, Dan Trelka, is making a direct appeal to the ‘conscience’ of whomever fired the fatal shot, which killed former UNI softball star, 25-year old Micalla Rettinger, and wounded 32-year old Adam Kimball. Adam survived and is recovering.

Chief Trelka’s appeal is straight forward to the shooter. Please come forward and tell police exactly what happened. Help the Rettinger family make some sense of this tragedy and find some closure in the midst of their immense grief. Don’t carry the burden of such guilt. It will eat you alive. Do the right thing. Let your conscience bring you forward.

Chief Trelka won’t yet say if his investigators think the shooting may have been an accident. That a person, out late in the woods, perhaps hunting, legally or illegally, may have fired, what would have to be considered a ‘one-in-a-million’ shot which, tragically, hit the Micalla’s Jeep as she drive south on Highway 218, just a little after 2:30 Sunday morning.

Chief Trelka says a bullet fragment was discovered and retrieved at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, while Adam Kimball was being treated for his gunshot wound to the face.

That discovery will tell Waterloo Police exactly what caliber weapon fired the bullet and will help investigators determine an approximate distance the bullet traveled before hitting Rettinger and Kimball.

However, at this time in the investigation, a Waterloo Police source says the caliber of the bullet will not be released to the public  Police want to keep that secret for the time being, as, now, only the shooter and police now the caliber.

Police have been searching the wooded areas near the Highway 218 bridges over Brinker Lake and the Cedar River. They are looking for shell casings or any possible evidence in connection with the shooting.

Waterloo Police are also asking residents in the shooting area to check their surveillance and trail cameras for any unusual activity early Sunday morning, April 28. The video and audio from those recordings could prove valuable to investigators in the case.

A reminder, Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers is already offering a $7,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

(Earlier stories)

The reward is now $7,000 in the Waterloo Highway 218 shooting early Sunday morning which took the life of a Cedar Falls woman. Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers and Waterloo Police say the reward went from $5,000 to $7,000 in a matter of hours.

Earlier, Chief Trelka, said of the ongoing investigation, “all theories are being considered” in tragic shooting death of former UNI softball player, Micalla “KK” Rettinger.

Micalla died in the apparent random shooting on Highway 218 early Sunday morning, while her friend, 32-year old, Adam Kimball, was shot in the face. He is being treated at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Police say it appears the same bullet struck them.

A passenger in the car with Micalla and Adam was not injured. All three were returning home from work at a Cedar Falls business at the time.

25 year old Micalla was driving the car on Highway 218, crossing the Brinker Lake, Cedar River bridges, when the bullet came through the driver-side window. The bullet struck Micalla first and then carried through her to hit Adam in the back seat.

Somehow, she was able to drive the vehicle to the first exit down the road, the Greenhill-218 exit just, past the Brinker Lake and the Cedar River. Micalla was pronounced dead at that location.

Waterloo Police have not released the caliber weapon involved in the shooting.

In addition, Waterloo Police have not yet said at what distance they believe the shot was fired. Longer range would indicate a higher powered weapon, but police say they just don’t know at this point.

Police were asked if there was road rage involved or some kind of dispute that morning. Waterloo Police Major, Joe Leibold, says ” That was one of the first things we looked into, is to whether these people were involved in a dispute or something that had occurred earlier. The passenger said there was nothing like that. They simply left work and drove here. There wasn’t a lot of traffic. So there wasn’t they cut something off, nothing that occurred to the passenger in the vehicle. They simply left work and driving home, there was nothing unusual nothing that got their attention.”

In addition, a statement said, The Waterloo Police Department has determined that the victims were returning home from work when this incident occurred. There is nothing to indicate the victims in this case were in anyway involved in any activity that would have caused them to be targeted in this manner.

Cedar Valley bike trails run through that area, and authorities believe a trail camera or surveillance camera footage could play a role in helping them solve the case. Residents are asked to check their cameras for any unusual activity that early Sunday morning.

Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward in the case, and Waterloo Police investigators are asking for the public’s help in finding the shooter.

Because the shooting occurred around 2:30 early Sunday morning, one theory is the shooter could be a person who was hunting illegally.

It could also be someone whom just randomly fired a weapon in the area and Micalla’s car was in the wrong place at the wrong time on Highway 218.

A worst case scenario would be that the shooter intended to fire at a passing vehicle.

If you believe you may have any information about the shooting or suspicious or unusual activity in the area early Sunday morning, please call Waterloo Police Department at 291-4340, ext. 7, or Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers at 855-300-TIPS (8477).

More information as it becomes available through various sources, one who indicated police may be leaning toward the illegal hunting, poacher angle. Officially, Waterloo Police have not confirmed that possibility..

As KWWL posted earlier, the University of Northern Iowa Monday released this statement about the former Panther star, Micalla Rettinger. Here is that release.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa mourns the loss of former Panther softball player Micalla “KK” Rettinger who was killed early Sunday morning in a shooting in Waterloo.

“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. “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.”

“I am devastated. KK was a pretty special kid to us,” head softball coach Ryan Jacobs said. “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.”

Micalla was a 2016 graduate of UNI and an outstanding outfielder for the Panthers. She earned Second-Team Missouri Valley All-Conference honors her junior and senior seasons and led UNI in hits her senior year.

She graduated from UNI with a degree in Biology in 2016.

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Ron Steele

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