Former Clemson volleyball player Tatiana Mirutenko was killed by a stray bullet while celebrating her one-year wedding anniversary in Mexico City, according to multiple reports.
The incident reportedly occurred on Saturday as Mirutenko and her husband James Hoover were leaving a restaurant in the Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood of Mexico City with friends.
Two gunmen on a motorcycle were reportedly aiming for a bar bouncer when Mirutenko was struck and killed immediately, according to CNN. The bouncer was also hit and taken to a hospital
Mirutenko is a native of Hawthorn Woods, Ill. and was living in California.
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She played volleyball for Clemson in 2009 as a freshman, appearing in seven matches for a total of 15 sets. She was also a member of the 2010 team, appearing in 32 sets.
Mirutenko graduated from Clemson in 2013 and got engaged there in 2015 during homecoming, Hoover told the Chicago Sun Times.
“Our love began the first moment we met,” Hoover told the paper. “Everything clicked. I proposed to her in October 2015 during a weekend trip to her alma mater, Clemson University, for homecoming. I couldn’t believe how I got so lucky to marry her.”
Clemson economics professor Raymond Sauer told CNN that Mirutenko stood out as a student.
“The students that are smart and that engage with people like she did are the ones your remember the most,” Sauer said. “She was charting a course for her life, and really always thinking about the future and working really hard. ...You knew she would go places. This is why this death is so ironic -- a person like that would get caught up in something so random.”
Natalie Mirutenko, Tatiana’s mother, told ABC7 that Tatiana described the trip as wonderful and the area as safe before the shooting occured.
“She would give 200 percent. As a mother, we always say things, but she inspired me to be better,” Natalie told the TV station. “I’d give my life if she could just come back.”