Pooya Hosseini, 28, hadn’t spoken to Akbar Mohammadi Rafie in months before Rafie entered his East Williamsburg home with a gun police believe he was carrying in an empty guitar case.
Hosseini belongs to a band called the Free Keys, which Rafie was kicked out of amid allegations that he’d stolen money from band members. Rafie, 29, was friends with Hosseini in Iran and in Brooklyn after the two arrived in New York together in 2011, but their relationship had frayed, according to The Times.
Rafie allegedly killed two housemates of Hosseini who belonged to the post-punk rock group The Yellow Dogs, as well as another Iranian musician in the house, before going after Hosseini. Hosseini crouched behind coats as Rafie entered his room. “You think my bullets are not going to go through those coats and your body and the wall?” Hosseini recalls Rafie saying.
Later, according to Hosseini, Rafie said, “I need to kill you and then I need to kill myself. This is what I have to do. This is what I have to do.”
Hosseini says he began talking and talking to stall until the police came, according to The Times.
When Rafie turned his head towards sirens, Hosseini grabbed the gun and a struggle ensued. Rafie went up to the roof of the building and killed himself.
The slain men found inside were Yellow Dog members (and brothers) 27-year-old guitarist Soroush Farazmand, 28-year-old drummer Arash Farazmand, as well as a musician who wasn’t in the band, 35-year-old Ali Eskandarian.
There are now two surviving members of The Yellow Dogs. The band came to the United States in 2010, fleeing their home country of Iran where rock music is considered un-Islamic.
“Now they’re living the dream,” a May 2013 Public Radio International profile stated. “Sharing an apartment with a handful of other Iranian expat artists in the part of Brooklyn where all the young bands live.”
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