Friends remember Aaron Markarian, slain UMKC student, as a rising star

Aaron Markarian was a 23-year-old UMKC student who was on the road to stardom when he was murdered in his home near the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo., last Thursday. Friends and family said they are heartbroken.

Alonzo Ruff, 20, and Anthony Williams, 21, have been charged with second degree murder, robbery and armed criminal action in Markarian's murder and for three other people who were wounded.

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Since the murder, Markarian's friends have been tweeting and putting pictures of their friend on Facebook. The pictures show a young man who was already a star on the UMKC campus. 

One week before he died, he was performing on the Kansas City Repertory Theater's stage in a leading role in the play "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Friends and fellow UMKC students also created a make-shift memorial at Markarian's house, where he was murdered, in the 4900 block of Brookside Blvd. 

A single white cross was placed in the front yard. Several people brought flowers and placed them at the foot of the cross.

A long-time friend said Markarian wanted to be an opera star. He described his friend as energetic and enthusiastic, with a creative mind and charismatic personality. 

The friend said Markarian wrote poetry, had a beautiful singing voice, loved life and was able to find the humor in things.

Markarian worked at Jack Stack Barbecue on the Country Club Plaza. His co-workers said they were too emotional to do an interview about his death. They have organized a candlelight vigil to be held at Jack Stack on Sunday at 11 p.m. The vigil is for anyone who wants to come and celebrate Aaron Markarian's life.

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