The Houston-born daughter of a local criminal defense attorney died in a shooting in Florida Sunday, the lawyer said.
Maria Tritico, 32, was fatally shot near the beach at Singer Island, which is north of West Palm Beach, according to KPTV. Her father, Chris Tritico, said Maria was there with her fiancé, who was playing Frisbee football.
The random shots rang out and hit the art therapist, who was the director of education at the Lighthouse Art Center in Tequesta.
“She was a straight-up, pure victim of random gun violence,” Chris Tritico said.
Maria Tritico graduated from Langham Creek High School in 2007 and received two fine arts degrees from Texas State University, one in metalsmithing and the other in photography. She earned a masters degree in art therapy in Chicago, and eventually settled in Florida with her fiancé.
Her passion with art therapy was for helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and women who wanted to get out of sex trafficking, her father said.
“She was a bright shining light,” Chris Tritico said. “She never saw a problem that didn’t have a solution. She loved what she did.”
Maria Tritico and her fiancé were set to be married on New Years Eve in Houston. A memorial service was held in Florida on Tuesday.