UPDATE: The gunman has been identified as Raefe "Aliakbar" Ahkbar, the Wall Street Journal reported. Ahkbar reportedly first shot the band's guitarist Soroush Farazmand, 27, before moving upstairs to the third floor, where he shot singer Ali Eskandarian, 35, and drummer Arash Farazmand. Police also believe that he shot Sasan Sadeghpourosko, 22, in the arm multiple times. Sadeghpourosko is currently believed to be the lone survivor of the attack.
Four people who were killed in Brooklyn early Monday, including a gunman, were allegedly members of a post-punk rock band called “The Yellow Dogs” that fled Iran together and received political asylum in the U.S.
According to the NY Post, the triple murder and suicide occurred at 318 Maujer St. in East Williamsburg, N.Y., where one or several of the band members of "The Yellow Dogs" were believed to have resided. Neighbors of the victims told The New York Times that the gunman was a member of "The Yellow Dogs" band, but law enforcement sources who spoke to the Post said he had recently been kicked out of the group, which may have motivated the bloody attack.
The shooter reportedly arrived at the building near midnight on Monday morning, carrying a Century Arms Cetme Sporter .308-caliber semi-automatic. Police said that it didn’t appear that he had forced entrance into the apartment. He shot victims on the second and third floors, before going to the roof and shooting himself in the head. One victim, 22, survived the attack and was treated for a gunshot wound in his right arm at Elmhurst Hospital.
At least three band members of "The Yellow Dogs" were originally from Tehran and expatriated to the United States, receiving political asylum here in 2012. The band mates said that they could never return to their home country. “We can’t go back to Iran,” Obash, "The Yellow Dogs'" singer, said in a video interview with eMusic last year. “Our parents, they have never seen us play.”
“The Yellow Dogs” were fairly well known in the New York music scene, and had opened for bands like the Black Lips. They were also featured in the 2009 documentary “No One Knows About Persian Cats,” which received a Critic’s Pick from the New York Times. A neighbor who spoke to the Post said the building was a frequent hot spot for parties, especially over the summer months.
“During the summer it was ongoing, really loud parties with the street blocked off by gypsy cabs,’’ he said. “It was the usual hipster rave scene.’’
Fans of "The Yellow Dogs" expressed shock and shared condolences on the band’s Facebook page on Monday. “Heavy Heart today..... an absolute tragedy in the music world and Iranians in Diaspora.... The Yellow Dogs are no more.....It was less than a year ago that I met, talked and hung out as a part of the Icy And Sot and the yellow dogs tour of the US in Chicago.....surreal indeed,” one fan wrote.
Jill covers a little bit of everything for IBTimes, from U.S. and World News to Pop Culture. She is a lifelong New Yorker, and holds her bachelors in Media & Culture from...