Two members of Iranian-American rock outfit Yellow Dogs and a third Iranian musician have been fatally shot by another man, believed to be an ex-member of the band, in a townhouse in Brooklyn early on Monday morning.
The triple homicide took place at 318 Maujer Street, East Williamsburg, where at least one band member is known to reside. The gunman scaled rooftops to access the building, moving from room to room to carry out the shootings using a military-style rifle.
The victims have been named as Yellow Dogs drummer Arash Farazmand, 28, Yellow Dogs guitarist Soroush Farazmand, 27, and frequent touring partner and musician Ali Eskandarian, 35.
A fourth man, 22-year-old Sasan Sadeghpourosko, was wounded by a gunshot wound to the right arm during a struggle with the gunman, at which point the assailant’s magazine clip fell from the gun, leaving him with just one bullet in the chamber.
The gunman then took to the building’s rooftop and turned the gun on himself.
Police Comissioner Raymond W. Kelly did not identify the killer or the victims earlier, simply saying the murders were motivated by “a dispute over money involving an indie rock band”.
The New York Post is now reporting that the gunman was Raefe Akbar, an ex-member of the Yellow Dogs, who was exacting revenge after being turfed from the outfit by the other members for swiping money and equipment.
Yellow Dogs were originally from Tehran, before seeking asylum in the United States and setting up in Brooklyn, playing festivals like South by Southwest in Austin and prominent venues in New York like Webster Hall, as well as local Brooklyn venues like Glasslands, the Knitting Factory, Cameo and Shea Stadium.
Black Lips member Cole Alexander offered his condolences via Facebook, with the two bands having shared a bill several times:
“This band risked their lives to escape Iran. They personally expressed to us how excited they were to be in the U.S. where they could freely express themselves as artists. It is particularly sad that they were killed in America, a place where they were supposed to have a new beginning. Yellow Dogs were really cool guys and we are gonna miss them. RIP”
(via NY Post)