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Man arrested in fatal stabbing at Las Vegas pool party

A man was arrested on suspicion of fatally stabbing another man with a knife at a large pool party last month.

Maurice Lopez, 33, was arrested Tuesday on a warrant after police said witnesses from the party named Lopez specifically and described his distinct tattoos to police, according to a statement from the Metropolitan Police Department.

Police were called to the 4800 block of West Richmar Avenue, near South Decatur Boulevard at 10:49 p.m. July 22 after a report that someone was stabbed at a party with more than 100 people, according to the police report.

The Clark County coroner’s office later identified the victim as 24-year-old Eric Ropeti Tia, who was found with multiple stab wounds and taken to University Medical Center trauma center where he died. The manner of death was ruled a homicide caused by a stab wound to the chest.

Investigators believe the house was being rented for a two-day pool party when a fight broke out. Witnesses told police Lopez used a 4-inch knife during the fight to stab Tia.

The stabbing was one of several fatal encounters over the summer, leading Metro to encourage the public to report large parties. Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Reggie Rader said Monday that 15 people have been shot at these parties in the past few months and that three have been killed, including Tia.

“My plea would be to the young individuals out there looking for something to do, be adults, be civic-minded and look for other ways to engage in something productive,” Rader said at the time.

Lopez has one prior conviction in District Court for attempted theft, for which he served a year in Clark County Detention Center. He was released in January on probation, which was revoked after the stabbing.

He is charged with one count of open murder with a deadly weapon and is being held without bail pending a hearing Wednesday.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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