An 18-year-old woman was accidentally shot Friday evening and was pronounced dead an hour later after her family rushed her to a hospital in her own car, police in Colorado said.
“We can characterize this young women’s death as unintended and extremely tragic,” said Cmdr. Jeff Satur, Longmont police spokesman. The victim was identified early Saturday evening as Premila Lai of Niwot.
Satur said the police investigation was consistent with media reports that Lai was hiding in a closet and jumped out to scare her friend, Nerrek Daniel Galley, 21, when she was shot.
Galley, of Orem, Utah, has been arrested on unrelated warrants, Satur said.
The Boulder County District Attorney’s office will determine whether charges will be filed in Lai’s shooting death.
Galley is cooperating in the investigation, Satur said.
The accident reportedly happened at about 8 p.m. on a stairway inside a home in the 2500 block of Cambridge Drive.
Galley and two of the victim’s male relatives, ages 12 and 15, loaded her into a car and took her to Longmont United Hospital, which is only about a mile away.
When police arrived, they discovered the front door open and saw blood on the stairs. A handgun was on the floor with a live bullet stuck in the ejection port of the slide, a police report says.
The victim’s family had recently sold the home where the shooting took place, and the 21-year-old man was staying in the home temporarily, Satur said.
“There were no drugs, no gang activity and no alcohol,” he said. “No one involved has a criminal record.”