Brooklyn Musician Allegedly Kills Bandmates And Himself

Yellow DogsYellow Dogs/FacebookA photo from the Yellow Dogs Facebook page.

A Brooklyn musician allegedly killed himself and three people — at least some of whom had been his own bandmates, early Monday morning,
The New York Times reports.

The alleged gunman was Raefe Ahkbar, who had recently been kicked out of an indie rock group of Iranian expats in their 20s and 30s called the Yellow Dogs, the Wall Street Journal reported.

At least one of the victims lived in the East Williamsburg building where they were shot. The shooter was upset that he’d recently been kicked out of the band, killing his bandmates before going to the roof and committing suicide, The New York Daily News reports.

The alleged gunman was killed by a single wound from a .308- calibre rifle. Police said there were shell casings all over the apartment on Morgan Avenue and Grand Street, according to the Daily News.

The men found inside were 27-year-old Soroush Farazmand, Arash Farazman, and Ali Eskandarian, according to the Daily News. Another man, a 22-year-old, was wounded in his arm and elbow and taken to Elmhurst Hospital for treatment.

The group formed in 2006 and cited the British rock band Joy Division as one of its influences, according to Yellow Dogs’ Wikipedia page. They played music in the award-winning 2009 Iranian film “No One Knows About Persian Cats.”

Yellow Dogs moved to the United States in 2010, according to a May 2013 Public Radio International (PRI) story. They first came to the U.S. on artist visas after they were invited to play at the famed South By Southwest and CMJ music festivals, according to PRI. They were eventually given political asylum because they feared persecution in Iran, according to a Now This News interview with the band.

A CNN profile of the group discussed the troubles the Yellow Dogs faced in Iran, where rock music is considered un-Islamic.

“Now they’re living the dream: Sharing an apartment with a handful of other Iranian expat artists in the part of Brooklyn where all the young bands live,” the PRI story said.

They also got to tour the U.S. with other bands they love.

“We are from Iran,” the band’s lead singer, known as Obaash, told PRI. “I always say if we were born and raised in America, or born and raised in a Western country anywhere, we wouldn’t appreciate it as much as we do right now to come from a country like Iran and be able to come out here and be able to see like, wow, we used to make our own venue to be able to play music.”

Martin Greenman, a 63-year-old recycler who worked near the scene of the shooting, told The New York Times the bandmates were “always together” and “always friendly.”

In the CNN interview, one of the band members said his bandmates were like his brothers.

Here’s a video profile of the Yellow Dogs:

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