An Indian-origin girl was killed in the U.S. when she jumped out of a closet to surprise a friend, who shot her thinking she was an intruder. Premila Lal jumped out of a closet as a harmless joke to surprise Nerrek Galley (21), family friend.But the noise startled the friend, who grabbed a gun and shot her, said her father Praveen Lal.

The incident happened on Friday night in Longmont, Colorado.

The teenager’s death was “unintended and extremely tragic”, police said in a statement. “The closet opened and I think she jumped and screamed and he thought it was an intruder inside the closet, so he pulled the trigger,” said Mr. Lal. Premila was a track star and was honoured at a weekend cross country meet at her alma mater, KVDR TV reported. Her family described her as an athlete, popular girl and strong student.

Premila Lal and her 12-year-old cousin apparently came to visit Galley. Lal’s 15-year-old brother was also at the home, hanging out with Galley. Praveen Lal told local media that his daughter entered the home without Galley’s knowledge.

Authorities said the father’s description of what happened next, involving the closet, and Galley’s gun, is consistent with their investigation. “We lost a daughter, so we don’t want anybody else to lose their son, you know, especially when it was accident,” Praveen Lal told a TV station. So far Galley has not been charged in Lal’s killing. Police said they do not suspect the involvement of alcohol or drugs.

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