Co-workers remember slain UMKC student's incredible talent

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - More than a week after Aaron Markarian's murder, his co-workers say they will never forget his boisterous voice. The UMKC senior was studying music and those who knew him say he was destined for stardom.

"Just a voice that could blow you away," said co-worker Liz Holder.

Markarian worked as a server at Jack Stack on the Plaza. His co-workers planned a Sunday night vigil in hopes of offering comfort to his hundreds of friends and family members.

The 23-year-old Warrensburg native was shot to death in the late night hours of March 21 inside his home just south of the Plaza on Brookside Blvd. Three other people at Markarian's gathering were also injured.

Kansas City Police have two men in custody. Anthony J. Williams, 21, and Alonzo D. Ruff, 20, are each charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of first-degree assault, one count of first-degree robbery and five counts of armed criminal action.

Police said the men robbed Markarian and the others before shooting them. Co-worker Preston Porter said the pettiness of the crime makes Markarian's death ever more difficult to understand.

"Four-hundred dollars. Split between two people. It's devastating," Porter said.

"I wish they could see just the hurt and the pain that they've caused and realize how wrong they were," co-worker Justin Johnson said.

Markarian's co-workers said Jack Stack is a much quieter place now. They said he was a favorite among diners.

"Customers tended to love him. And me in particular, I would tease him that I would be in the background sometimes taking notes on how he would talk to his tables because no matter what he said, they would be laughing," Johnson said.

Markarian's co-workers are devastated he will not be able to entertain anymore. Those who knew him best are left with his humor, his funny mustache, but most of all, his voice.

A memorial fund has been set up in Markarian's name. Anyone wishing to donate can do, care of the Kearney Commercial Bank, P.O. Box 888, Kearney, MO 64060.

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