Premila Lal, an 18-year-old Colorado track star and honors student, was shot and killed when she tried to play a prank on a friend.
Lal’s father, Praveen, told KDVR that his daughter and her 12-year-old cousin entered their old house in order to surprise her 15-year-old brother. They hid in a closet and when they jumped out, Nerrek Galley, a family friend the pair did not expect to be there, allegedly shot her.
“They somehow entered the house. And my son and Nerrek didn’t know it was them. And there was an accidental shooting. After she was shot, then Nerrek realized it was Premila,” Praveen said.
According to Longmont Police Commander Jeff Satur, Galley then assisted Lal’s brother and cousin in transporting Lal to Longmont United Hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly after 9 p.m.
Galley and Lal’s brother were living in the house, which her parents had recently vacated. Satur said that the shooting was not gang-related, nor did it appear to be motivated by anger. “We can characterize this young woman’s death as unintended and extremely tragic.”
Galley was arrested for charges unrelated to the shooting, but not unrelated to firearms. Satur said that Galley allegedly allowed Lal’s 15-year-old brother to possess a handgun with his parents’ permission, which is a felony in Colorado. He is being held on high bail because, according to the arresting officer Billy Sawyer, he “has no ties to the community with a permanent residence,” as he “has been in Colorado for a very short time and his family lives in Utah.”
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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