KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two young adults, both standout athletes from the Kansas City area, were shot and killed just hours apart early Sunday.
Dwane Simmons, 23, was shot around 12:45 a.m. in Topeka, Kansas while walking home from a party near Washburn University with New York Giants’ recent draft pick Corey Ballentine. About 365 miles away Micalla Rettinger, 25, was shot around 2:30 a.m. in Waterloo, Iowa while driving home from work.
Police in both cities say they’re still looking for the shooters in both the death of Simmons and Rettinger.
Simmons graduated from Lee’s Summit West in 2014 and went on to play football at Washburn. He was heading into his final season and last semester in the fall.
FOX4 spoke to Simmons parents’ on Sunday who said the two men, Simmons and Ballentine, were walking home from a party when some men rolled up and asked if they had some smokes or something else for sale. Simmons and Ballentine said no and the guys drove off. They then came back around and opened fire, killing Simmons.
Lee’s Summit West’s football coach issued the following statement Monday:
Lee’s Summit R-7 is mourning the loss of Dwane Simmons. Dwane was a valued student, athlete and 2014 Lee’s Summit West High School graduate. We are sad and we are holding his family, his friends and his teammates in our thoughts. Dwane was a starter for the 2013 state championship football team at Lee’s Summit West High School.
Then Lee’s Summit West High School football coach Royce Boehm says, “Dwane was a very special young man who everyone loved. He brought high energy to our football team – and our team was about family. Dwane will be truly missed and he is loved by the Titan family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Simmons family.”
“Dwane will be missed by his Titan teammates and coaches. Dwane always had a smile and was always positive. He was a favorite at our youth football camp with the kids because of his dynamic personality. He was a great player, teammate and friend and my prayers go out to his family and to Washburn University,” says current Lee’s Summit West High School football coach Vinny Careswell.
Rettinger, who graduated from University of Northern Iowa, is from Kansas City, Missouri and graduated from Park Hill High School. The 25-year-old was living in Iowa while driving home from work early Sunday when a bullet tore through the vehicle’s driver’s side window and killed her, the Waterloo Police Department said.
Rettinger was in the car with two passengers when she was hit in the neck, police said. A second passenger, 32-year-old Adam Kimball, was injured and is being treated at the University of Iowa Hospitals. The third passenger was uninjured, according to police.
University of Northern Iowa released the following statement on Facebook:
“I can still see the smile on her face, and I remember the way she always thought of other people first in a genuine way. When we had youth camps, she was the one that all of the kids on campus would be drawn to. This is a huge loss to our team and everyone who knew her” – Coach Ryan Jacobs
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Micalla Rettinger. She will be remembered for her kind soul and team spirit.”
The softball team also issued a statement on Facebook that said:
“Words can not express how sadden we are about the loss of one of our Panther Softball Family members and alumni!! You will forever be in our hearts and memories, KK! If you did not know KK, you truly missed out getting to know an amazing teammate, student and person!!”
If you know anything about the shooting in Topeka, police want to hear from you at (785) 368-9400 or Shawnee County Crime Stoppers at (785) 234-0007.
If you know anything about the shooting in Iowa, Waterloo Police Department Investigations Division want to hear from you at (319) 291-4340 Option 7.