Gunman kills 3 musicians, self in NYC
NEW YORK — A gunman who killed three Iranian indie rock musicians and injured a fourth person inside a Brooklyn apartment on Monday before killing himself was upset because he had been kicked out of another band last year, police said.
Ali Akbar Mahammadi Rafie killed himself on the roof after struggling with a member of his former band, the Free Keys, police said. Investigators believe a guitar case found on an adjoining roof may have been used to carry the assault rifle used in the attack.
Rafie, 29, “was upset that he wasn't in the band anymore,” said New York Police Department spokesman John McCarthy. Investigators suspect the shooter and his former Free Keys bandmates may have had an argument over money, he added.
Two of Rafie's victims were brothers and members of the Yellow Dogs, a band that came to the United States from Iran three years ago after appearing in a film about the underground music scene there, according to band manager Ali Salehezadeh. The third person killed was a musician but not in the Yellow Dogs band, Salehezadeh said. The person injured was an artist, he said.
It wasn't immediately clear why Rafie opened fire on members of another band, although musicians in both groups knew each other, and some lived in the same building, Salehezadeh said.
Rafie knew his victims, but he hadn't spoken to them in months because of a “very petty conflict,” Salehezadeh said, declining to give specifics.
“There was a decision not to be around each other,” he said. “They were never that close to begin with. … This was nothing. We thought it was all behind us.”
The four victims lived in a row house in East Williamsburg, an industrial neighborhood home to mostly warehouses where artists can rent cheaper space than in trendier parts of the city.
The rampage erupted shortly after midnight when the gunman climbed down from the roof to a third-floor terrace and opened fire through a window, killing 35-year-old Ali Eskandarian.
The shooter then killed brothers Arash Farazmand, 28, in a third-floor bedroom and Soroush Farazmand, 27, in a second-floor bedroom, police said.
An unidentified tenant was hit in the arm before Rafie and his former bandmate from Free Keys struggled over the gun until the clip fell out, police said. Rafie put the clip back in the rifle, went back to the roof and shot himself in the head.
The gun was found next to the body. Kelly said it had been purchased in upstate New York in 2006; police were investigating its history.
Two members of the Coast Guard who were staying in a rented room in the apartment weren't harmed.
The Yellow Dogs played recent gigs in New York at indie rock venues such as the Knitting Factory and Brooklyn Bowl. Originally from Tehran, they were the subject of a 2009 film, “No One Knows about Persian Cats,” which told the semi-fictional tale of a band that played illegal rock shows in Tehran.
The band came to the United States to pursue its dream of playing rock music in an open society, Salehezadeh said.
“You can't be a rock star in Iran,” he said. “It's against cultural law. You can't grow there as a band.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Two killed when F-16, small plane crash; jet pilot safe
- Cosby accusers feel vindicated by drugging admission; some Hollywood friends reserve judgment
- Feds could be softening in Snowden case
- 2 killed in midair collision over South Carolina when fighter jet slams into Cessna
- Subway suspends ties with spokesman Fogle after raid at home
- Appeals court upholds ban on federal contractors’ donations
- Senators quiz military chiefs, criticize U.S. fight against Islamic State
- ‘Billionaires’ Beach’ in Calif. opens to the public
- At least 5 kids got wrong immunizations at New Jersey clinic
- S.C. Senate gives final OK to Confederate flag removal
- Corzine, other former MF Global Holdings officials OK $64M settlement of litigation over bankruptcy