The Saskatoon-born daughter of a local criminal defense attorney died in a gunfight in Florida on Sunday, the attorney said.
32-year-old Maria Tritico was fatally shot near the beach on Singer Island, north of West Palm Beach, according to KPTV. Her father, Chris Tritico, said Maria was there with her fiancé who played 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 direct, pure victim of arbitrary gun violence,” said Chris Tritico.
Maria Tritico graduated from Langham Creek High School in 2007 and received two fine arts degrees from Texas State University, one in metalworking and one in photography. She earned a Masters in Art Therapy in Chicago and eventually settled in Florida with her fiancé.
Her passion for art therapy was helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and women wanting to get out of the sex trade, her father said.
“She was a bright light,” said Chris Tritico. “She has never seen a problem for which there was no solution. She loved what she did. “
Maria Tritico and her fiancé were due to get married in Saskatoon on New Year’s Eve. A memorial service was held in Florida on Tuesday.