Teen shot dead in prank

An 18-year-old girl decided to jump out of a closet to scare a friend - and got shot dead instead.

Miss Premila Lal, a track star and a student in the US state of Colorado, was accidentally killed when she startled a friend who is a gun enthusiast.

Miss Lal was returning home with her 12-year-old cousin around 8pm last Friday when she decided to play a prank, reported NY Daily News.

Inside the house were her 15-year-old brother and her friend, 21-year-old Nerrek Daniel Galley.

Galley depicts himself as a gun enthusiast on his Facebook profile.

Miss Lal's father, Mr Pravenn Lal, said his daughter and her cousin hid in a closet and started making noises to scare the other two.

Galley then gave a gun to the teen as they proceeded to search the house, reported the Longmont Times-Call.

When Galley found the source of the sound, he fired into the closet, striking Miss Lal.

He didn't realise the teen was the "intruder" until she had been shot.

Neighbours said they saw the group rush out of the house on the way to the hospital, where Miss Lal was pronounced dead.

"I heard a girl screaming from inside the house. So, I looked out and I saw them coming out," neighbour Elaine Haddox told US TV station KDVR.

"There were three guys and a girl. And they were all running out of the house, screaming, 'Hurry, hurry. We've got to go'." Police said they are still determining whether to charge Galley for the teen's death.

"They somehow entered the house and my son and Nerrek didn't know it was them," her father told KDVR.

"After she was shot, then Nerrek realised it was Premila."

Miss Lal was pronounced dead at Longmont United Hospital later that night, according to local authorities.

Mr Lal told Fox News: "He (Galley) carried her. Right to the (emergency room) table.

"After that, the cops separated everybody and I didn't see him."

The teen has been described as popular, smart and athletic.

Longmont police described Miss Lal's death as "unintended and extremely tragic" on Saturday.

Longmont Police Commander Jeff Satur told The Times Call: "At this time we are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the shooting, but there is no danger to the community."

Reports of her being shot after hiding in a closet were "consistent with our investigation", Mr Satur said.

Galley has been charged with child abuse, reckless endangerment and permitting a juvenile to have a firearm.

Said Mr Lal: "She graduated with a 3.87 GPA (grade point average)... So she was a go-getter. We're going to miss her."

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