N.Y. police search for driver who killed prominent Jewish jeweler


NEW YORK (JTA) — Police are searching for the driver who killed a prominent New York Jewish jeweler in a hit-and-run accident.

Aron “Eric” Aranbayev, whose jewelry store in the Diamond District of Manhattan is known for its popularity with hip-hop stars like Drake and Busta Rhymes, died early Monday morning after being run over Sunday night by a dark-colored Dodge Magnum near his home in the borough of Queens.

The driver deliberately hit the 40-year-old Aranbayev following a verbal dispute, possibly over a parking spot, police said, according to WCBS-2 television. Surveillance cameras captured the vehicle.

A father of three young children, Aranbayev worked at his family’s store, Rafaello & Co, whose clients include rappers Sean “Diddy” Combs and Jay Z along with the reality TV star Khloe Kardashian.

Rhymes memorialized Aranbayev in an Instagram post, according to ContactMusic.com. The post from his official account, @conglomerateent, read: “I can’t believe they took my brother from me and from all of us. Eric u were truly a shining light bro. U always brightened up and lifted the energy in many situations. I can’t believe this is really me typing this 2 u in ur absence. I love u and miss u tremendously my brother. Ur family will be kept in our prayers. May God hold u and keep u family. God bless … the whole … family … Eric u will continue 2 live thru us all. May u travel harmoniously my bro. RIP Eric Rafaello and Co.

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