Sep 5, 2013 2:06 AM by Samantha Ptashkin

UA researchers remember colleague killed in murder-suicide

TUCSON- A UA cancer research specialist, killed in a murder-suicide, is being remembered as a stand up guy who got along with just about everyone.

Thirty-two-year-old Jadrian Rusche, better known to his friends and colleagues as "Jade", graduated from Tucson High School in 1999. He went on to study at The University of Arizona.

After graduation he worked in various labs across campus. "He was one of those people you love to have in the lab because they're competent, they're fun to be around and they get along well with everyone else in the lab," says Laurence Hurley, a Professor at the UA College of Pharmacy.

Hurley hired Rusche to work in his lab in 2007. He worked there for two or three years. When Hurley received an email Wednesday morning saying that Rusche had been killed he was in shock. "I just cant imagine why this would happen to him, it just seems completely out of character," Hurley says.

Even though Rusche had moved on to other lab positions since working for Hurley, the two still saw each other around campus. Hurley says the last time he saw Rusche was two weeks ago. "I remember leaving the conversation, thinking he really hasn't changed much over the years," Hurley says. "He's still the same Jade I remember and who I really enjoyed working with."

Little did Hurley know, Rusche's life was about to take a violent turn. On Tuesday night, just before 8pm, Tucson Police say Rusche and his former roommate got into a fight inside their house in the 4500 block of East 28th Street.

Police say the roommate, 30-year-old Michael Kistner, started stabbing Rusche with a kitchen knife, then shot him multiple times, before shooting and killing himself.

"We were totally blown away by this," says Tim Bowden of the Arizona Cancer Center.

Bowden was Rusche's latest employer. He hired him two years ago to research skin cancer prevention. Bowden says Rusche was dedicated to his work. "He actually had four undergraduate students that worked with him and he was an inspiration to those undergraduate students," Bowden says.

Now that inspiration is gone, but Bowden says Rusche will be remembered for years to come.

Rusche was also an active member of Faith Christian Church. In an email, leaders of the church told News 4 Tucson they are "shocked and grieving".


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