Two member of the band and a musician friend were reportedly shot by Ali Akbar Mahammadi Rafie before he turned the gun on himself
Two members of the New York based Iranian band The Yellow Dogs were killed on Monday (November 11) alongside an author/musician friend before the gunman committed suicide.
The three Iranian-expatriate musicians were killed by fellow artist Ali Akbar Mahammadi Rafie, who later turned the gun on himself.
Police believe the attacker, aged 29, was upset after being asked to leave another band, the BBC reports.
Gun shots were heard early on Monday (November 11) as Rafie climbed from the roof of their East Williamsburg apartment in Brooklyn onto a third-floor terrace, where he opened fire through a window, killing 35-year-old musician Ali Eskandarian, police said.
The Yellow Dogs drummer Arash Farazmand, 28, was found dead on the same level of the apartment. His brother, the band’s guitarist Soroush Farazmand, 27, was using his laptop in bed when he was shot. The two other band members of The Yellow Dogs were not at the flat at the time of the killing.
Another unidentified tenant was reportedly hit in the arm as Rafie and a former bandmate from a group called the Free Keys struggled over the gun. The wounded person is said to be in a stable condition.
Rafie then picked up bullets that had fallen out of the gun before he went to the roof and shot himself in the head. The rifle was found next to Rafie’s body, police said. Investigators are currently looking into whether a guitar case found near the scene was used to carry the assault rifle in the attack.
Police believe that the killer and his former band Free Keys had had an argument over money, but it is currently unclear why he shot at the Yellow Dogs members.
Ali Salehezadeh, the band’s manager, said the gunman knew the victims but had not spoken to them in months because of a “petty conflict”. “There was a decision not to be around each other,” he said. “They were never that close to begin with. We thought it was all behind us.”
The Yellow Dogs describe themselves as “A Post Punk/Dance Punk band from Tehran/IRAN, living in Brooklyn at the moment,” on their Twitter page. The were reportedly granted asylum in the US in 2010. In 2009 the band were filmed as part of an award-winning documentary, No One Knows About Persian Cats about music in Tehran. Scroll down to watch a clip of the film now.
Yesterday evening, (November 11), the Black Lips paid tribute to the murdered members of the Yellow Dogs. “Yellow Dogs were really cool guys and we are gonna miss them,” said the group of the band, who played their most recent show on October 23 at the Brooklyn Bowl venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.