NEW YORK — Family, friends and colleagues said goodbye Tuesday to a jeweler to the stars who was struck and killed in a hit-and-run in front of his home.
Police believe a driver deliberately ran over Aron Aranbayev, 40, with a dark-colored Dodge Magnum around 11:15 p.m. Sunday on 71st Avenue in Forest Hills, Queens.
Investigators believe Aranbayev and the driver may have gotten into a fight over a parking spot.
“He was just being dropped off, and some guy was in a rush,” a man told CBS2’s Steve Langford. “They got into a verbal argument and then the guy ran into him backwards.”
Aranbayev, who suffered severe head trauma, died Monday at Jamaica Hospital, police said.
“Just shocking to hear and see what’s happened with him,” a mourner said.
While stunned mourners crowned the synagogue, Aranbayev’s renowned store, Rafaello & Co. in Manhattan, remained closed, with signs informing customers of the loss.
Aranbayev’s Instagram feed includes photos of him posing with many celebrity clients in his store, including Sean “Diddy” Combs, Kevin Hart, Khloe Kardashian and Macklemore.
His fellow jewelers from the Diamond District came to Queens to pay their respects to the husband and father of four.
“The whole 47th Street is here, yes,” a man said.
Police are still investigating and looking for the driver of the Dodge.