KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The University of Missouri at Kansas City said a student on track to graduate from the university this May was killed in a home invasion near the UMKC campus Thursday night.
The school said the victim, Aaron Markarian, was a gifted actor and singer at its Conservatory of Music and Dance.
Kansas City, Mo., police said four people including Markarian were shot. Another man remains in critical condition but is expected to survive. Two women who were also wounded during the incident will also recover.
Friends say the four victims were roommates having a birthday party inside a house located at 49th and Brookside Boulevard when the home invasion occurred.
“Aaron was everything you hope a conservatory student would be. He really stood out among his peers,” Dale Morehouse, associate professor of music at UMKC’s
Conservatory of Music and Dance, told FOX 4 News.
Morehouse said he can’t believe such a talent is gone.
“Surreal- it doesn’t seem real to any of us. It’s hard to imagine that it’s true,” he said.
Morehouse says just last Sunday Markarian gave the performance of his life in a UMKC’s rendition of William Shakespeare’s “A Mid-Summer Nights Dream.”
“One of my students said he was fearless on stage and off and he really was,” he recalled.
Police said just before midnight Thursday, two men entered the home occupied by Markarian and the other three people and started shooting.
A cross is the only sign of what happened at the house. Friends of the victims said they’re shocked by the incident.
“It’s just scary that we’re on a college campus, thinking we’re being safe — like they were at a birthday party and then it ends up — someone ends up dying, that’s just crazy to me,” UMKC student Sarah Herbert said.
“It’s just unsettling. It makes you feel unsafe in a place that we thought was safe,” Gwendolyn Tripp, a UMKC student, said.
Students said classes and rehearsals at the Conservatory were cancelled on Friday.
Police said no arrests have been made in the case.
“They definitely deserve to be reprimanded for taking someone’s life who had such potential and such a future. It’s just really sad,” Tripp said.
Friends also said at least two of the other victims were also students at the Conservatory.