Phoenix restaurant staff members remember man who was killed by his husband
PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- Workers at a Phoenix restaurant are mourning the death of one of their own.
According to police, say 22-year-old Andrew Aranda was killed with a hammer, and his husband, 24-year-old Yacoub Aranda, was arrested and charged with murder.
Andrew was a manager at Luci's, where he'd worked for the past six years. He started when he was just 16, and his loss is sorely felt not only by his co-workers, but by the dozens of customers who say they will miss his infectious smile.
"Someone like Andrew was a very, very special person," said Jerry Mansoor, co-owner of Luci's Healthy Marketplace. "He made a big impact on you, whether he knew you or didn't know you."
Mansoor says he often gave Andrew life advice. He had only met Andrew's husband a couple times.
"There was a couple hiccups we heard about here and there," said Mansoor.
He never thought it would escalate to murder.
Andrew and Yacoub had been married less than two years, and according to court records, Andrew wanted a divorce. Instead of breaking up, however, police say Yacoub ended Andrew's life. Police reportedly found a bloody scene in the couple's apartment bedroom.
Yacoub's attorney thought his client was going to face 2nd Degree Murder, stating Yacoub needs psychiatric treatment. The judge, however, said there is evidence of pre-meditation.
At Luci's, Andrew won't be remembered as a victim of domestic violence.
"Always a great smile on his face. Opened up to everybody and was gracious to see him every day and was a ray of light," said Mansoor.
A memorial for Andrew will take place on Saturday at Camelback Bible Church. Meanwhile, Yacoub Aranda remains behind bars on a $250,000 cash bond, and facing 1st Degree Murder charges.