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City in Mourning: Gyumri grieves for Avetisyan family

15.01.2015   11:36
“They were a good, hard-working family,” neighbors and relatives say of the Avetisyan family, victims of murder Monday in their home at 188 Myasnikyan Street in Gyumri.

Early in the morning six members of the seven-member family, including a small little child were brutally murdered. A six-month old boy is recovering from stab wounds inflicted in the attack carried out by 19-year-old Valeri Permyakov, a Russian soldier stationed at nearby base in Gyumri, who confessed to the crimes.

According to Permyakov’s confession, the teenage soldier “left the base for a walk, entered the house of the Avetisyan for a glass of water” and murdered the family.

Seryozha Avetisyan, 53, his wife Hasmik, 55, daughter Aida, 35, son Armen, 33, daughter-in-law Araksya, 24, and three-year-old granddaughter Hasmik, were found killed, and a six-month-old infant with severe stab wounds, were found hours after the incident, when a relative-neighbor came to the house for morning coffee.

This shocking news was spread in the whole country and for hours Gyumri became the center of attention as a manhunt was underway for the killer.

Now, no one has answers for why such a brutal attack was taken on this family.
Neighbors say that the Avetisyans lived in that address for a long time and they say that the family did not always lock the gate and that night it was open again.

Neighbors and relatives confirm that the family had no enemies and they never had any problems with anyone, ‘a common family with nothing special.’

The father of the family, Seryozha Avetisyan earned the living of the family by migrant labor in Russia. He would take his son, Armen Avetisyan with him as well. Neighbors say that the father and the son had recently returned to Gyumri to celebrate New Year with the family. The mother and the daughter-in-law were housewives. The daughter of Seryozha, Aida, worked in a flower-shop.

The salesman at a store nearby the Avetisyans’ house said that they were a family of common means, their son was not very communicative, but had clever friends. According to the neighbors, soldiers never visited their house.

“They were people earning their own bread, never bothered anyone, they were not wealthy for us to think they were murdered for money, they did not even fight with the neighbors,” a cousin of Seryozha Avetisyan, Sirekan Nersisyan told NEWS.am.

The sealed house has become a point of vigil as people throughout Gyumri come to place candles. Candle-lighting ceremonies have been held in different cities of the country in commemoration and honor.

Funerals will be held from 14 to 17 of January, in Gyumri St. Nshan Church, and the burial – on January 15, at 1pm starting from the same church.

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