In a prank gone horribly wrong, an 18-year-old woman was pronounced dead on Friday after allegedly jumping out of a closet, scaring her friend Nerrek Daniel Galley, 21, who reacted by shooting her in a home in Longmont, Colorado.
Longmont police said on Saturday that a 21-year-old man shot Premila Lal and then assisted two other witnesses in taking her to Longmont United Hospital. Galley, originally from Orem Utah, cooperated with the investigation following his arrest. Police claim Galley was suspected of child abuse, reckless endangerment, and permitting a juvenile to have a firearm after giving a handgun a 15 year-old boy.
Police Commander, Jeff Satur, declared the shooting as "not gang related" and that the use of drugs and alcohol does not appear to be involved. Satur added, however, that "we can characterize this young woman's death as unintended and extremely tragic."
Satur confirmed that a report that Lal had been hiding in a closet and that Galley shot her when she jumped out and startled him "is consistent with our investigation."
Galley and two of Lal's male relatives, ages 12 and 15, loaded the victim into her own vehicle and drove her to Longmont United Hospital.
Witnesses told the police that they heard yelling and screaming from the home and saw three or four individuals get into a car and speed away, leaving the front door open. A neighbor also told The Times-Call that they saw blood and an abandoned mobile phone on the stairway.
Lal died at approximately 9pm, police officials confirmed. Her parents are heartbroken over the loss of their daughter.
"My life ended so suddenly and I think it’s going to take a few more days for us to really, you know, comprehend she’s gone," said Praveen Lal, the victims father.