Today is the one-year anniversary of the murder of a Tyler man at the Barnes & Noble on South Broadway.
Roozbeh Arianpour, 23, was shot to death by his former classmate and childhood friend, Zaid Albana. Albana was sentenced last month to life in prison.
Last night, dozens of people spent the evening remembering a promising young man, whose life was cut short the summer before entering medical school: family, friends, and even someone who only knew Roozbeh because he was trapped inside Barnes & Noble when Roozbeh was killed by his delusional friend.
"Tonight I am glad to find myself among people who value the the kind of person I knew Roozbeh to have been," Chuck Thornton, a witness to the murder, said. "Here's to a friend I never knew."
Albana's life sentence provides some closure for the Arianpour family. But they still live with the nightmare of Roozbeh's murder every day.
"Since June 6, 2003, I haven't been enjoying anything," Mohammad, Roozbeh's father, said.
"I have not even gone into a bookstore, whether it's used books or anything like that," Kelly O'Dell, Roozbeh's girlfriend, said. "I can't even stand the sight of it."
"Doesn't worth it to concentrate on hate or anger," Farideh, Roozbeh's mother, said.
For Roozbeh's younger sister, Rouzheen, 19, the grieving process began after a long period of shock.
"Someone had to take care of the funeral, picking out the coffin, picking the spot in the cemetery, picking out where we're going to have it, who's going to speak, what we're going to say," she said. "And I have to live the rest of my life knowing that as an 18-year-old girl, I had to decide these things for my own brother."
However, each of Roozbeh's loved ones has moved on in their own way over the past year.
"I have to survive," Mohammad said. "I got a daughter. I have to look after her. That's the only reason, you know, to just keep going."
Farideh is turning her son's gruesome death into a positive cause. She has set up a scholarship foundation in his name for graduate students studying biology at Texas A&M University, where Roozbeh went to college.
"Roozbeh was a positive, productive person for society," Farideh said. "And still he will be."
The Arianpours hope other students will pursue their ambitions, just as Roozbeh had set out to pursue his.
If you'd like to contribute to the Roozbeh Arianpour Endowed Memorial Scholarship at Texas A&M University, you should call 903-521-3604.