This photo, obtained by Fox affiliate WFLD, shows 23-year-old Megan Boken.
Aug. 18, 2012: Investigators examine the car where Megan Boken was shot to death.MyFoxChicago.com
Police are hunting for the gunman who shot and killed a former college volleyball player in St. Louis hours before she was scheduled to play in an alumni volleyball game.
Megan Boken, 23, a former all-state volleyball player from Illinois, was shot while sitting inside a white Volkswagen outside the apartment complex where she lived Saturday afternoon, Fox affiliate KTVI reported. Boken was in St. Louis to visit her alma mater, St. Louis University, and play in the annual alumni game.
Authorities are searching for the suspect, described by witnesses as a black male in his 20s, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10, according to the station.
Police said they believe the man opened the victim's car door before firing shots from a handgun. Boken was reportedly struck in the neck and chest and later died at an area hospital.
Those who knew Boken say they are stunned by the attack, saying Boken was a standout volleyball player and an honor roll student.
"She'll be remembered as an unbelievable teammate. She played on championship teams, but she was that teammate that kept everybody together," St. Louis University's athletic director Chris May told MyFoxChicago.com.
May says the players were informed of Boken's death after the game. Boken was second team all-conference at SLU, ranking among the top players in school history. She made two NCAA championship appearances. She also made the A-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll for academic excellence before graduating in 2011.
"She's everything you want in a student athlete: wonderful student, a great athlete and an even better person," May told Fox2Now.
Boken's family released a statement Sunday, asking for privacy.
"Megan was a wonderful and beautiful human being loved by everyone she met. The family and the community are devastated by this senseless tragedy and the family would like to thank everyone for their outpouring of support," the statement said.
Investigators said over the weekend that this type of crime is "highly unusual" in that area of town, Fox2Now reports.
Though there was initial speculation Boken may have known her attacker, her family says there is no evidence of that. The police have not said whether they believe Boken knew her killer.
Investigators also said they have recovered casings from a gun and are canvassing the neighborhood looking for more witnesses and surveillance video that might help them trace the victim and the suspect’s movements.