Jackson County prosecutors charged two men today in connection with last week’s home invasion robbery of a group of college students that resulted in the death of an aspiring opera singer.
Prosecutors charged Alonzo D. Ruff, 20, and Anthony J. Williams, 21, each with 10 felonies: second-degree murder, robbery, three counts of assault and five counts of armed criminal action.
Kansas City police arrested them Tuesday in connection with the death late Thursday of Aaron Markarian, a talented voice student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Three other victims, including two women, were wounded, but survived.
The suspects remained in jail today.
Court records and police gave this account:
Williams and Ruff were looking for a place to rob when they decided on the college students’ home in the 4900 block of Brookside Boulevard, just south of the Country Club Plaza. Williams had been at the home before to smoke marijuana, police said. He wore a ski mask to avoid being recognized and allegedly rang the doorbell while holding a machete. Ruff allegedly had a gun.
When Markarian opened the door, the robbers barged in. They demanded that seven of the victims sit on a couch. The eighth victim was in a bedroom. They stole cell phones and $400 from the victims. Williams allegedly pressed a machete to one victim’s neck, demanding to be taken to his marijuana stash. The victim gave the robbers about one gram of marijuana.
As the robbers prepared to leave, Ruff allegedly opened fire at Markarian and the other victims on the couch. The victims did not resist and the shooting was unprovoked, police said.
The victim who had his marijuana stolen told police he recognized Ruff from high school. Police believe Ruff may have opened fire because he wasn’t expecting to know anyone inside the home and wanted to prevent the victims from recognizing him.